SPAIN: New vocational training school in Polígono Sur offers at-risk youth ‘second chance’
Don Bosco Foundation launches new vocational training school in Polígono Sur
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Foundation, in collaboration with the Endesa Foundation and the Commissariat of Polígono Sur, a municipality in Seville, Spain, launched a new vocational training school at the Don Bosco Social Center. The center is equipped with classrooms, workshops, offices and multipurpose rooms for carrying out educational activities. Currently, there are 20 youth, aged 16 to 19 from Polígono Sur, who are attending classes.
The first class will run through June 2021 with the goal that youth can transition from the program to employment. Many youth in Seville are suffering from unemployment and see little hope for the future. One student in the program said, “There are not words to express thanks for this second chance.”
The school offers both traditional education and social support for youth who come from challenging backgrounds and need the extra support. The goal is to increase motivation, personal stability and maturity, promote positive influences in the environment, generate greater family involvement, and encourage positive habits and willingness to work.
Social and professional orientation sessions and pre-employment workshops in various professions are also planned. During the course, youth will visit companies from different sectors as well as other schools and training centers. At the same time youth are taking courses, support will be provided to their families.
“The vocational training school will support youth who have already left the education system, many of them without qualifications, and who do not have the training to enter the job market. Due to their age, they are in no man’s land, which makes their inclusion difficult. But we believe in second chances,” said Antonio Mengual, territorial director of the Don Bosco Foundation.
Salesian missionaries have been working for many years to provide educational and workforce development opportunities for poor youth and women in Spain through residential, technical and vocational training programs. Although teachers are available to start providing distance learning again in the event of a new lockdown, the importance of face-to-face education is emphasized in Salesian schools.
Close to 37 percent of young Spanish workers under the age of 25 are unemployed and a growing number of them can’t afford to buy enough food to live. Poor youth with few employable skills struggle the most to find and retain stable employment. Women in Spain face inequality in the workforce. They earn up to 14 percent less than men and represent only 34.5 percent of those listed as the highest earners in Spain.
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Salesian Missions – Spain
World Bank – Spain