IME's ceremony at Palazzo Pucci in Florence.

FLORENCE LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is strengthening its vocational training model as its Institut des Métiers d’Excellence has signed three partnerships in Italy.

The announcement was made at Palazzo Pucci, which houses IME’s Italian headquarters, during a ceremony that celebrated last year’s graduates and marked the official beginning of IME’s second academic year in Italy.

The three partnerships will focus on training future talents in artisanal and retail skills. A program teaching technical expertise in assembling women’s footwear has been introduced with the Politecnico Calzaturiero in Capriccio di Vigonza, near Padua. The course includes 500 hours of theoretical and laboratory classes and 400 hours of internship in a LVMH company, including Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Rossimoda.

Retail-wise, a “Master in Luxury, Customer Adviser” has been added to the offer, beginning in the 2018-19 academic year. Entirely in English, the 1,500-hour course has been developed by Venice’s Università Ca’ Foscari and its Challenge School division.

Both courses will be funded by Italy’s Veneto region, while the Emilia-Romagna region will fund a third, soon-to-be-launched program training men’s shoe artisans and developed by the Berluti Académie du Savoir-faire in Ferrara.

Each apprenticeship alternates between theoretical education at the schools and practical training at the LVMH companies, including language training and original course content and master classes developed in conjunction with LVMH brands.

The programs add to the two training courses launched last year and created in partnership with Polimoda and For.Al in leather goods craftsmanship and jewelry, respectively, bringing to five the number of IME work/study programs offered in Italy.

“LVMH clearly recognizes the importance and excellence of Italian savoir-faire,” said LVMH executive vice president of human resources and synergies Chantal Gaemperle. “The development of our Institut des Métiers d’Excellence in Italy reflects the group’s commitment to playing an active role in training young people and developing job opportunities available to them.”

The institute’s director Florence Rambaud revealed that IME proved to be successful in its first year in Italy, as 93 percent of the 2017 apprentices received a distinction of excellence, and 88 percent of them found a job, including 63 percent within the LVHM group and its contractors. For the current academic year, 85 students have been enrolled in the five programs, which will count on the support of 12 LVMH brands, including Bulgari, Celine, Christian Dior, Fendi, Loro Piana and Louis Vuitton.

“This is an extraordinary initiative, as training artisans is essential for our industry,” said Fendi’s chief executive office Serge Brunschwig. “It’s important we all realize the many opportunities and potential that lay in Italy for the future generations.…The LVMH Group [contributes] a lot, but can’t do it all: It’s important that Italy, too, guarantees the training of craftsmanship and artisanal métiers.”

Serge Brunschwig.

Serge Brunschwig  Thomas Dell'Agnello

Founded in Paris in 2014, the LVMH Institut des Métiers d’Excellence aims to promote, enhance and ensure the transmission of know-how that involves artisanal craftsmanship, creative and retail skills.

The IME programs operate in a range of areas, such as jewelry, dressmaking, winemaking, leather goods, culinary arts, watches, luxury retail and design. They are supported by partner institutions including the Haute École de Joaillerie in Paris for jewelry, the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne for fashion and the Centre Européen des Professions Culinaires for gastronomy, among others.

In 2016, the IME expanded to Switzerland, inaugurating the École d’Horlogerie LVMH, before touching base in Italy last year.

Overall, the LVMH Institut des Métiers d’Excellence has internationally matriculated 500 apprentices since 2014, involved 15 partner schools and 32 labels controlled by LVMH and registered an 80 percent placement rate, including 60 percent of the graduates that have found jobs at LVMH.

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