ARGENTINA: San José Vocational Training Center offers free vocational training to marginalized youth and adults
(MissionNewswire) The San José Vocational Training Center in Salta, provincial capital in mountainous northwestern Argentina, offers free evening vocational training to older youth and adults living in conditions of poverty and social isolation. Students come from several different neighborhoods and many have not finished school, but all attend because they want to do something with their young lives.
This center, which also operates the Ángel Zerda Salesian Institute, is among 13 Salesian centers across Argentina that offer a similar program. The purpose of this project is to reduce the unemployment and job insecurity of people who, due to their socioeconomic vulnerability, do not have access to education, have not completed their basic education or have not obtained professional qualifications.
San José Vocational Training Center opened in 2015 in response to the overwhelming need in the region for skills training so that both youth and adults have the opportunities to gain an education to find and retain long-term, stable employment. Since its opening, hundreds of students have attended class and graduated. In addition to accessing job opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise, they have challenged themselves to improve their self-esteem, safety, spirituality and quality of life.
“The students attending these evening skills training classes are from families and communities that have been marginalized and have very few opportunities for education and job advancement,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian education aims to open doors for these individuals and help them gain the job skills needed to find work in the local economy and be able to support their families and give back to their communities.”
Salesian programs across Argentina are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in Argentina helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Programs also help to support poor youth and their families meet basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care in order for students to engage in their education and have hope for the future.
More than a quarter of the people in Argentina live in conditions of poverty with no formal employment and poor quality education, according to the World Bank. The country’s high school dropout rate is close to 37 percent and youth account for a third of those unemployed. Almost 12 percent of children aged 5 to 17 are working instead of in school and 20 percent need government assistance. Many face malnutrition, a lack of clean water and sewage, and inadequate housing.
World Bank – Argentina