AIST European Steel Forum: Experts say talent recruitment for steel industry must begin at high schools; panelists also say digitalization is changing role of traditional operators, elevating them from workers to thinkers

Sample article from our Transformation & Innovation

October 17, 2023 (press release) –

European Steel Forum: To Solve Recruitment Challenges, the Steel Industry Should Look to High Schools 

10/17/2023 - The Association for Iron & Steel Technology kicked off its annual European Steel Forum on Tuesday morning, with experts dissecting two of the global steel industry’s major trends. 

During separate panel discussions, forum participants delved into the stubborn difficulties of recruiting and retaining the next generation of industry talent, and they discussed digital innovations that are reshaping ironmaking and steelmaking. 

As to the former, Montanuniversität Leoben graduate student Serena Tourey and doctoral student Nikolaus Preisser suggested that one path forward is to find teachers with the ability to inspire students well before they arrive at college.  

Preisser, for instance, recalled the impact of a field trip to a steel mill when he was 8 years old. And Tourey said her path to metallurgy traces back to a high school chemistry teacher who instilled an interest in the subject in her. 

Montanuniversität Leoben professor Thomas Prohaska agreed that the industry would be well served if it could help elevate role models, especially influential school teachers, who can, perhaps, alter career trajectories early on. 

Later on Tuesday, attendees heard from a panel of digitalization experts, who agreed that workplace safety is helping drive the adoption of robotics and digitalization in steel plants.  

Case in point is Acciaierie Bertoli Safau (ABS), the steelmaking division of equipment builder Danieli. ABS engineers described for the audience systems that prevent personnel from accessing areas around operating equipment. Instead, personnel are able to monitor and control operations from remote safe zones. 

Panelists also said digitalization is changing the role of traditional operators, elevating the role from worker to thinker. But it’s also forcing those implementing projects to obtain buy-in from employees who view change as a threat to their jobs.

It’s also changing the role of the traditional I.T. specialist forcing them to get away from and out onto the shop floor, they said. 

“Data is worthless if they don’t know where it comes from,” said Marco Truant, of ABS process engineering and quality — melting and casting. 

The European Steel Forum is taking place at Montanuniversität Leoben in Leoben, Austria. Melting and casting specialist INTECO is hosting the event. 

Check back with AIST Steel News for more updates. 

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

See our dashboard in action - schedule an demo
Chelsey Quick
Chelsey Quick
- VP Client Success -

We offer built-to-order transformation & innovation coverage for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.

About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

+1 (310) 553 0008

About Cookies On This Site

We collect data, including through use of cookies and similar technology ("cookies") that enchance the online experience. By clicking "I agree", you agree to our cookies, agree to bound by our Terms of Use, and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. For more information on our data practices and how to exercise your privacy rights, please see our Privacy Policy.