ITALY: The Salesian Vocational Training Center in Valdocco provides education and workforce development programs to help youth gain skills for employment
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Vocational Training Center in Valdocco, a quarter within the city of Turin, Italy, is providing education and workforce development programs so that disadvantaged youth have an opportunity to learn skills for employment.
The center teaches youth skills in agribusiness, electrical wiring, mechanics, graphic design, construction, food services, hospitality and more. In addition, Salesian missionaries have developed decades-long partnerships with companies in and around Turin that enable students to access professional apprenticeships and successfully find employment after graduation. Salesian educational centers also have a more holistic approach to education, which helps youth overcome their difficulties and develops each as a whole person.
Salesian Brother Marco Gallo, the acting director of the Salesians of Social Welfare (SCS/CNOS Federation) of Turin, said in a recent video. “Valdocco is as important today as in the times of Don Bosco.”
He continued, “Today, so many years later, Valdocco still means vocational training for cooks, electricians, graphic designers. It is, however, a solution, an alternative for these young people who need to work and maintain themselves.”
The video with Bro. Gallo is part of a video series created by ANS in collaboration with the IME Communication Team highlighting various Salesian centers and programs in Italy.
In Italy, young people who are unemployed and not in school or training programs represent 20 percent of the population. Vocational training is an educational path that serves as a highly effective bridge between work and school.
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. 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.
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