ITALY: Salesian Teresa Gerini Vocational Training Center in Rome holds collaboration meetings with local companies and entrepreneurs
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Teresa Gerini Vocational Training Center in Rome, Italy, has launched an initiative to connect local companies and entrepreneurs to youth taking courses in order to build a better bridge between school and work. The first meeting was recently held to discuss how the Salesian center and local companies can work together more seamlessly and effectively for students seeking internships and graduates seeking employment.
The center was founded in 1952 in a working-class area of Rome and currently educates more than 700 students. It is the largest in Italy and offers coursework in the fields of mechanics, electro-mechanics, electronics, IT and educational robotics.
Surveys in Italy have recently shown that there is a high percentage of youth who are not in school and are not working. Many do not have the valid qualifications and diplomas essential for employment. The Salesian Teresa Gerini Vocational Training Center is working hard to help students gain more diverse internships and be better prepared for the workforce.
In order to do that, better relationships need to be built with local companies and entrepreneurs. It is also critical that the Salesian center is teaching relevant skills and courses of study that are desirable and needed in the local marketplace.
The first meeting between the Salesian center and local companies took place on Oct. 18. Fourth-year students studying electronics, IT and educational robotics participated. They organized the meeting and introduced, through multimedia presentations, their educational experiences implemented under their teacher’s guidance.
Several guests attending the first meeting requested that more events be held so students could showcase their work. Business leaders encouraged students to commit themselves to the further analysis, planning and development of their projects. They stressed that through the students’ commitment and determination they can change their destiny and that of society.
“Salesian programs across Italy help youth who are unable to attend school and others who drop out to work at the few jobs available to them,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Vocational training is an educational path that serves as a highly effective bridge between work and school. Meetings that take place between Salesian educational centers and local businesses help to ensure that students gain real-work experience through internships and make easier transitions into the workforce.”
Italy, Europe’s third-largest economy, has close to 2 million children living in poverty, according to UNICEF. The poverty rate has risen in the wake of Europe’s economic crisis. Unemployment is at its highest level since the late 1970s with the overall jobless rate at 12.5 percent and youth unemployment as high as 41 percent.
According to UNICEF, a growing number of youth are living away from their families in temporary shelters and within government and charity programs because of inadequate support from or neglect by their families. Salesian programs work to combat these challenges by providing shelter, nutrition, education and workforce development services for youth in need.
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Salesian Missions – Italy
UNICEF – Italy Poverty