Steel News

Professor: To Recruit Young Talent, Steel Should Showcase Its Sustainability

9/28/2022 - High on the list of iron and steel industry priorities is to recruit the next generation of talent. It’s a challenging task unto itself, but all the more difficult for an industry that continues to fight stubborn misperceptions about its viability as a career choice.

But one university professor whose background is in oil and gas has a suggestion: 

“(The young talent) has to see even this sector is spending a lot to become sustainable,” said Gianluca Valenti, associate professor of energy engineering at Politecnico di Milano. 

Valenti spoke during one of the kickoff sessions at the 2022 AIST European Steel Forum, which is taking place today through Friday. Sponsored by Danieli, the event is being held at the Danieli Research Center in Buttrio (Udine), Italy. 

More than 200 steel industry participants from universities, steel producers and suppliers are attending this year’s forum, which is focused on discussing solutions to the industry’s challenges.  

During two panel discussions Wednesday morning, academics and industry representatives shared observations and thoughts around recruiting a workforce and maintaining it. Some noted that the industry finds itself in a remarkable moment, with four generations of workers in the workplace at the same time. 

Valenti said talented engineers who are just entering the workforce are bringing with them a sense of ownership of the world and feel obligated to preserve it. They therefore are looking for companies whose values align with their own.

The oil and gas industry has been able to recruit them, he said, because it is spending significant sums to communicate investments in renewable energy. The iron and steel industry should do the same, he said. 

“Communicate to the students what you believe in,” he said.