SPAIN: New Salesian Partnership Develops Work Preparatory Education for Youth
(MissionNewswire) The Tenerife Cabildo, the governing body of the Spanish island of Tenerife, in collaboration with the Insular Foundation for Formation, Employment and Entrepreneurship Development and the Don Bosco Project, have developed a school that prepares students for work. It aims to offer additional professional opportunities to 15 young people who are between 16 and 20 years old.
The agreement between the local authorities and the Don Bosco Project will allow students of the work preparatory school to acquire basic skills that will enable them to meet their daily needs and to then start a career path through other programs, further training or work-related experience. This program will act as a pilot project and will be held until December 2017. It will then be assessed for its success and possible continuation.
Cabildo’s president, Carlos Alonso, visited the Don Bosco Project site in mid-June and learned first hand the quality of training that these young people are receiving. He emphasized that this program responds to the real needs of young people who have abandoned the education system prematurely and do not have the right tools to be integrated into adult education or work training projects.
One of the technicians responsible for the initiative, Ainhor Pérez, noted that throughout the duration of the preparatory school, students will learn fundamental skills of a social, personal, working and civic nature. This program joins the more than 850 Salesian-run vocational, technical, professional and agricultural schools providing youth with the practical skills to prepare for employment and help youth have productive lives while becoming contributing adults in their communities. These programs go beyond educating. They also assist youth with making connections within industries and preparing them for the process of searching, finding and retaining employment.
“All youth deserve a second chance in life and to feel safe and as a valued member of their community,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Students engaged with this new program through the Don Bosco Project have a real opportunity to gain an education, connect with their peers, and gain the work and social skills needed for long-term employment.”
Hard hit by the current economic troubles in Europe, Spain now has the greatest inequality of the 27 countries of the European Union. According to the World Bank, close to 25 percent of Spanish workers are unemployed and a growing number of them can’t afford to buy enough food to live. One in five citizens is living below the poverty line and poor youth with few employable skills struggle the most to find and retain stable employment.
World Bank – Spain