The discussion panel comprised members of the public and private sectors: EU institutions, universities, NGOs, the private sector, vocational education and training institutes, and international organizations.
The work day focused on three fundamental questions, at the center of discussions by experts of Unit B3 (Migration and Work) of the Directorate-General of the European Commission for Cooperation and Development:
- can VET institutions support the development of entrepreneurship and industry;
- what innovative approaches (in terms of partnerships, policies and governance mechanisms) can be adopted and what factors determine the success or failure of "productive" production units;
- what mechanisms can be put in place to mitigate the negative effects on the local economy and the labor market.
The EU considers VET an important instrument in support of employment, but that it is not enough to create employment: work is created by entrepreneurs from the private sector. Therefore, VET can only succeed if the private sector is involved in VET.
With its history and its projects, the Salesians were at the center of talks: Dr. Terenzi (DBI/VIS) presented good practices Salesians experimented in the field to the European institutions. A few of the many examples:
- the creation of a mixed public-private structure in Burundi (Comité mixte pour l'Adéquation Formation Emploi);
- the vocational training activities carried out in Ethiopia that, thanks to the collaboration of local partners and the support of the European Program “Co-Partners in Development”, is able to support 27,000 trainees each year;
- and the "Job Service Office", opened in Madagascar in 1991;
Three models that, together with "DBTech Africa", represent important realities in support of the Salesian approach to the T-VET paradigm (Technical and Vocational Education and Training), or more appropriately: TVSD (Technical and Vocational Skills Development - Development of Technical-Professional Skills).
The meeting's central outcome is that education and vocational training are, even at the European, recognized as vehicles for economic development and social skills, providing young people with the skills they need to meet the needs of the labor market and find their place in the world through dignified and responsible human growth.