The National campaign ‘Youth in Industry 4.0’

At the end of January 2022, the APPAU association has started the ‘Youth in Industry 4.0’ campaign. It’s goal is to build the common agenda of industrial and hi-tech economic sectors that should include clear statements about the main challenges and how to resolve them in terms of priorities and action plans. Respectively, the campaign includes analytic studies, regional round tables and the final conference in Kyiv on March 3d.

There are 7 organizers of the campaign: Association of Industrial Automation of Ukraine (APPAU, main coordinator), Cluster Engineering – Automation – Machinery (EAM) from Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Vinnytsia, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia and the ‘Sustainable Industry’ committee of the Industry4Ukraine platform. All campaign events have the status of EU Industry weeks from European commission.

The general context of the campaign

The ‘Youth in Industry 4.0’ topic is one of the most popular in the manufacturing world, but for the 1st time it is held in Ukraine at the national level between Businesses, NGO and the State. Generally, Ukrainian industrialists are worried about the leak of youth from manufacturing lately. Other issues are low skills level of the students and their low motivation for jobs in manufacturing. This state is quite similar worldwide and in European Union, see the report of World Manufacturing Forum 2019. But what makes difference, Ukraine does not have state policies / strategies on how to cope with these issues. At the same time, neither Industrial business associations nor industrial companies themselves propose common effective strategies, similar by the effectiveness to the local IT-industry. Twin digital and green transition that manufacturers start to consider, makes these issues much more deeper.

Therefore, the leak of the youth from manufacturing to IT-sector and abroad, low skills level and low effectiveness of respective strategies are the 3 main challenges to consider in the campaign. They are similar at regional and at the national levels.

The campaign goals

The campaign considers 3 main goals:

  1. Engagement to the campaign of large categories of industrial sectors and other stakeholders sensible to the mentioned challenges.
  2. Reaching the consensus in common strategies with regard to the youth preparation to twin digital and green transition.
  3. Creation of the common agenda for industrial and high-tech sectors. At the 1st stage of this agenda the campaign aims to make the account of the best practices of manufacturing companies.

Due to good results of the ClusteRISE project in 2021 supported by GIZ, Ukrainian clusters were well coordinated from early December, they all got the permission from European commission and Ukraine is the leader on the EU map in holding the EU industry weeks.

This fact also makes good initial pre-condition to strong communication of the government with consolidated demands about the needed policies in this area.


The main stages of the campaign

The campaign include the activities:

  1. Market online surveys aimed at students and employers.
  2. Media campaign that aims to rise awareness about manufacturers’ issues in this area
  3. Round tables are planned as follows:
    1. 8th of February – Kharkiv.
    2. 10th February – Zaporizhzhia.
    3. 15th of February – Mykolaiv.
    4. 17th  of February – Vinnytsia.
    5. 22th – Kyiv (city).
    6. 23 / 24th of February – a separate event ‘Sustainable industry’.
    7. 24th of February – Poltava.

For details and registration see

The outcomes of the round tables are formed into the proposals / reporting to European commission as well as proposals to the national conference in Kyiv, on the 3d of March.

  1. The final conference in Kyiv is planned on 3d of March. Here, there is a presentation of all gathered best practices and proposals to the agenda on the national level. For the detailed program of the event see Appendix 1.

First insights

Today the campaign has already engaged1350 students and about 100 manufacturers. It is supported by 25 partners from 11 regions, including the National Agency of jobs Qualification, and the Ministry of strategic industries of Ukraine.

Another important input comes from the conclusions of 3 regional events that took places in EAM clusters of Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv.

All together these data generate next insight:

  • Very low awareness of youth about Industry 4.0: 50% of young people never heard about Industry 4.0 and 33% others ‘heard but do not know what it is’.
  • Manufacturers loose ‘the fight’ for talents and youth to IT-industry and aggressive migration policies form other countries with Poland in the lead. At the same time, 62% of manufacturing enterprises and up to 80% of their business associations do not have competitive strategies aimed at youth.
  • Regarding low skills issues, manufacturers state that local education system is far behind from the market demands.

On the positive side, we found many good practices of cooperation ‘Universities – Business’, upskilling programs coming from businesses and high readiness of the Industry4Ukraine platform members to share their experience.

However, the main conclusion is that manufacturers are not able to cope alone with these issues. Migration of young people for working abroad and brain leak to the IT reached a really dramatic scale. Nevertheless, the State stays beside of these problems. Ukraine does not have acting industrial policy strategy, where we could see the option of attracting youth to manufacturing or some reskilling – upskilling programs.

What next

APPAU and Ukrainian cluster are seeking for support from the European counterparts and institutions that work in this area to start exchanges on the following topics:

  • Roles, best practices and benchmark of the State policies and programs in attracting youth to manufacturing.
  • Best practices of set-up reskilling – upskilling programs in digitalization of SMEs (as I4MS and similar).
  • Consolidation of stakeholders around the issue of youth in manufacturing / Role of clusters and State bodies, integration into smart-specialization programs.

APPAU and Ukrainian clusters are ready to share experience and insight and we highly appreciate any possible support in the mentioned topics. When our campaign will have been finished on the 3d of March we will be very interested to convert the results into the next development projects, especially in the domain of reskilling – upskilling.

The dialogue can start during the final conference on the 3d of March. For detrails please contact Andriy Boroduk, the coordinator of the campaign: