Urgent Need of E-skills in Ticino

06 July 2017

Interview to Monica Valseschini, VP HR at VF International

Who is Vf International and what is your mission?

VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) outfits consumers around the world with its diverse portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Wrangler® and Lee®. Founded in 1899, VF is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with socially and environmentally responsible operations spanning numerous geographies, product categories and distribution channels. VF is committed to delivering innovative products to consumers and creating long-term value for its customers and shareholders. For more information, visit www.vfc.com.

VF International, based in Stabio (Switzerland), serves as the headquarters for the company’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and APAC (Asia-Pacific) business.


Which kind of talents are you looking for? And how much increased the request of this kind of figures in the last few years?

As we expand our investment in the digital area, we are also coherently investing in talent acquisition into this field. There are two elements to consider: we work both on Digital specialist roles that can support our technology investments (supporting e-commerce), but there is also a more general attention to embedding Digital savviness in most roles of the organization, spanning from marketing to sales, from HR to retail and so on.


Is it possible to find this kind of competences in Canton Ticino?

Not always. Research shows that Digital talent is one of the most dynamic in migrating towards some cities that act as real “Digital hubs”, like London, Amsterdam, Berlin. However, we also see a trend in which even some large technology companies in our industry have started investing in other location, trying to exploit the second wave of digital talent, which is more keen of staying in their home locations. But in order to achieve this, a strong foundation of education and training, as well as accessibility to technology and innovation, needs to be establish locally.


Why and How did you collaborate with NetComm Suisse and Supsi for the Training “Planning, managing and promoting an e-Commerce project”?

As VF we have started collaborating with NetComm on various subjects, exactly because, as we are based in Ticino, we regard positively all initiatives that can establish more skilled digital talent in the region. Which is also why we have been happy to support this training initiative born in collaboration with Supsi.


Would you be interested in collaborating with NetComm Suisse Association, Local Universities and other fashion companies to create a hub for digital innovation and e-Commerce by providing professional speakers, Stages and Scholarships?

As mentioned, we are definitely interested in the development of local talent, and as VF we will be happy to support initiatives that go in this direction. We need to make sure that we can establish a strong pipeline for our future talent needs, that has a strong foundation of the skills that will be needed into tomorrow’s digital arena. Unfortunately sometime the traditional schooling system is not fully up-to-date on this, which is why we favourably look all initiatives that can further support this area.

Moreover we are also keen at supporting networking efforts in the Digital domain. Development of competences in this area is very much linked not just to the “direct hiring” of people, but also to the availability in the region of a “digital ecosystem”, made of providers, innovation start-ups, networking bodies, freelance etc., all of them collectively contributing to the growth of the competencies. Which is why we see favourably the initiative of the Fashion Digital Lab that Netcomm Suisse is creating hoping to receive help by local operators at a cantonal level as well as from other fashion companies.

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