Leonardo invests in young people with the first digital high school in Italy

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The work of the future will certainly be different from what we know today. It is the effect of progressive digitalisation which will find application in many production, institutional and service fields, offering new job opportunities. Added to this are the effects of the other two major transitions that operate in synergy with each other: the ecological transition and the digital transition. These are transformations that will profoundly influence society and the employment structure in the near future, having a decisive impact on the skills and professional profiles required by the labor market.

Leonardo, as the main Italian manufacturing company with the ambition of contributing to the technological and digital progress of the country, plays an important role. To overcome the challenge of technological change which affects all the company’s business sectors, Leonardo has focused first of all on human capital, people’s skills and the relationship with the world of research and education. For this reason the company collaborates with over 90 universities and research centers around the world and has created the Leonardo Labs, technological hubs dedicated to the research and development of frontier technologies, interconnected with universities, polytechnics, research centers and partner companies, to support the innovation ecosystem. The Leonardo group is committed to the continuous training of its people, through excellent courses, including at university level and focused above all on new technologies, and through professional academies, with training courses aimed at the professionals most exposed to the changes brought about by new digital skills. Particular attention is paid to recruiting and selection campaigns for new talent aimed at young graduates especially in STEM disciplines: science (science), technology (technology), engineering (engineering) and mathematics (mathematics).

Thanks to an agreement signed between Leonardo, the Leonardo Foundation and the Matteucci Higher Education Institute (Rome), a collaboration has been started aimed at creating, starting from the 2022-2023 school year, a new technical-scientific direction called digital high school. The implementation of the project, the first in Italy, is based on the relaunch of technical institutes, on the review of teaching and to fill the digital skills deficit in our country, given that more than a million experts are missing. The digital high school lasts five years and is divided into two two-year periods and a fifth year; it ends with a state exam, upon passing which a diploma is issued which allows access to university.

A particular focus concerns artificial intelligence. The precious support of Leonardo, with its best experts, allows you to create a training path for the student in order to build solid foundations that can be used after graduation both in continuing your studies and in the world of work. Artificial intelligence and robotics are intertwined in the classroom with mathematics, computer science, physics and other disciplines. The first pilot project, which started in September 2022, saw the creation of a single section (27 students); students who are now in their second year are acquiring the concepts behind an artificial intelligence-based system. Leonardo provided approximately 40 hours of training to professors to update specific digitalization skills. The good results that are being achieved have meant that enrollments have doubled and in response to this, the Ministry of Education has granted the opening of two sections for the 2023/2024 school year.

Then there are the Leonardo Labs, a network of laboratories dedicated to the research and development of frontier technologies. These laboratories, located near the company’s main industrial sites, gave immediate impetus to Leonardo’s research and represent a novelty on the national territory, while they are particularly widespread abroad. The research work of the Labs, in supporting all divisions of the group, interacts with the world of universities, research centers, polytechnics, companies and startups at a global level. The distinctive character of the Labs is, therefore, that of open innovation.

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