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ITALY: Salesian Vocational Center Develops New Agricultural Machinery Laboratory

(MissionNewswire) In December 2015, the Salesian-run Teresa Gerini Vocational Training Center in Rome, Italy opened the first agricultural machinery laboratory for professional training. The new laboratory is part of TechPro2, a leading technical training project aimed at providing a skilled workforce of highly qualified personnel for the car and commercial vehicles industry. Started in 2008, the TechPro2 project is a collaboration between Salesian missionaries, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and CNH Industrial, an Italian company that designs, produces and sells agricultural and construction equipment.

The new laboratory is the first of its kind and was made possible through a partnership with New Holland Agriculture, a leading global manufacturer of agricultural machinery. The Teresa Gerini Vocational Training Center is now able to offer a specialist training course for 20 students who have already completed a three-year certificate of professional qualification. Students enrolled in the course will spend half their time taking courses at the training center and half their time gaining experience at companies in the New Holland dealer network or within the CNH Industrial group. Graduates of the program will be highly skilled technicians who will be able to meet the demands of the labor market.

Having grown throughout its seven year history, the TechPro2 project is currently operating in 57 Salesian training centers around the globe with more than 9,300 students accessing more than 240,000 hours of training in eight different languages. TechPro2 aims to help train youth to enter the workforce while meeting the employment needs of the industry.

Both Fiat Chrysler and CNH Industrial require a specialized workforce to provide service in dealerships and authorized service companies. This project is a win-win for both the companies and the students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are able to access technical training and gain the skills necessary to find and retain long-term livable wage employment.

“Salesian missionaries know how important it is to provide poor and disadvantaged youth access to education and employment training both for the individual student’s professional development and for the economy,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Students graduating from the TechPro2 training program are prepared to enter a growing employment sector and many are successful in finding stable long-term work directly after graduation.”

In April 2015, the TechPro2 project developed a new website with innovative features and up-to-date functionality so that students and dealerships can more easily access information. At the end of 2013 in Italy alone, 885 students completed the course in institutions offering the project. More than 45 percent of the graduates found employment directly after graduation, a significant feat given the current state of Italy’s economy.

Europe’s third-largest economy, Italy has close to 2 million children live in poverty, according to UNICEF. With more than 25 percent of the country’s children living in poverty, Italy has the highest percentage of child poverty out of all 25 European countries. The poverty rate has risen in the wake of Europe’s economic crisis and 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.

Some youth are unable to attend school and others drop out to work at the few jobs available to them. A growing number of children work as laborers on farms and others have turned to the sex trade to help support their families. Those in poverty often live without adequate shelter, hot water, regular meals and health care.

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.



ANS – Italy – Opening of the first laboratory of Agricultural Machinery for the Professional Training of the young


UNICEF – Italy Poverty

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