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SPAIN: Youth gain professional experience

Pinardi Federation of Salesian Social Platforms provides 400 youth on-the-job training and mentorship


(MissionNewswire) Pinardi Federation of Salesian Social Platforms in Spain, in collaboration with the Community of Madrid, is providing 400 youth the opportunity to train in companies thanks to its “First Professional Experience” program that aims to address youth unemployment.

This program, which targets youth ages 18-29, has been ongoing for several years and enables on-the-job training for youth at risk of social exclusion. Youth will do their training at companies like Ibedrola, La Caixa, UPS, Ferrovial, El Corte Inglés, Sacyr, Orange, Meliá, IBM, JP Morgan, Auren, Parques Reunidos and Clece.

Maria Concepción Dancausa, the family, youth and social policy councilwoman for the Community of Madrid, recently warned of the high youth unemployment rate and the difficulties of companies in filling certain positions. “We don’t have time to waste,” said Dancausa. “They are restless, creative and enterprising. And they want to learn.”

Javier Doval, general coordinator of Pinardi Federation of Salesian Social Platforms, said, “Young people need experience that focuses on them and their enormous potential. First Professional Experience is a personalized program in a real-work environment, which, as much as possible, develops practical training. Thanks to the companies that are committed, it will allow youth to acquire personal and professional skills, achieving an impact in the host community.”

The key to success of the program lies in professional mentoring during the real-work experience, which facilitates learning personal and professional skills in an intensive and experiential way. Youth have educational and professional support throughout the program. They also have personalized social support and access to scholarships so that their economic situation is not an obstacle to training.

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.

Close to 32 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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