CHILE: Collaboration promotes professional mining training
Don Bosco Industrial Technical College signs agreements for professional mining training
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Industrial Technical College in Calama, a city in the Atacama Desert and capital of El Loa Province in northern Chile, has signed an agreement with Codelco Northern District, a leading company in the mining sector, and with the Mining Cluster of the Antofagasta Region corporation to create new opportunities in professional technical training for youth interested in the mining field. This collaboration also helps to complete the fifth phase of construction on the school where this education is provided.
The college started with 490 students and offers technical and vocational education for the industrial mining sector—with specific courses in mining, industrial mechanics and industrial electricity. Education is free for students and classes are offered in both English and Spanish. The college is still fairly new and recently had its first graduation.
A signing ceremony was held to launch the new agreement. The event was attended by Father Marco Vergara, director of Don Bosco Industrial Technical College, and André Sougarret, vice-president of Codelco Northern District. Sougarret noted that mining techniques are changing and spoke of the necessity to employ professionals with greater skills. The company and the industry not only require specialists in the field of mechanics and electronics, but also those who know the mining processes that the company is newly developing.
Ricardo Díaz, the regional governor of Antofagasta, said at the event, “It is very significant that there is high quality vocational training in the region, a technical training that perhaps we could improve by issuing apt certifications in order to guarantee a high employability of young people in our region.”
Fr. Vergara added, “This important milestone, welcomed by the Codelco Northern District company, also provides an important contribution to the construction of the fifth stage of the school, as it allows us to build a happy world for our young people. We entrust ourselves to God so that all these good intentions will come true, like the dream fulfilled of our Father and teacher St. John Bosco.”
Don Bosco Industrial Technical College has been working to strengthen its relationship with mining companies to increase the level of professional training available and help make the transition from education to the workforce smoother for students. The goal is to provide training where there is a high rate of employability after graduation.
According to the World Bank, Chile has a fairly low poverty rate of less than 10 percent. However, Chile struggles with high rates of income and education inequality. Salesian missionaries working in Chile focus their efforts on providing education and social services to poor and at-risk youth. At Salesian schools, universities and youth centers throughout the country, youth can access an education as well as the skills and resources necessary to break the cycle of poverty.
Salesian Missions – Chile
World Bank – Chile