Italy – Don Bosco's first apprenticeship contract turns 170 years old

09 February 2022

(ANS - Rome) - On 8 February 2022 exactly 170 years have passed since the signing of the first apprenticeship contract promoted by Don Bosco. To celebrate this anniversary, the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, with all the formators of CNOS (National Center for Salesian Works) and CIOFS (Italian Center for Salesian Women's Works) reaffirm the value of apprenticeship, training in the workplace, dual training.

The contract conceived and signed by Don Bosco is considered by many to be the first modern employment contract. Not only because many of its clauses will later enter the normal practice of working relationships, but also and above all because for the first time, with a document that bears four signatures, an alliance is established that is still an inspiration for the work of formators: that between the employer, the worker, the apprentice's family, and the educator.

In today's debate, it is vital to reiterate how the possibility that young people can experience school-work alternation, in a protected context and in close collaboration with training centers, represents a precious opportunity.

The teaching that comes from the most advanced European experiences shows how the dual system, which sees a very close collaboration between the training institution and the company, is the system that best helps young people in their path of developing skills and entering the world of work. In Italy, this path has been followed for years with excellent results in terms of employment.

CNOS-FAP and CIOFS FP, in the capillarity of their presence, constantly work together with companies to make these educational experiences, moments of growth and maturation capable of helping young people to get in touch with the work and social reality by developing a strong sensitivity on the issues of safety, thanks also to the collaboration with the company tutors who play a fundamental role in this path.

An increasingly close alliance between institutions, the educational system and businesses is therefore essential for building strategies, itineraries, moments of confrontation that can bring a topic as current as workplace safety to public attention.

The focus on safety in the workplace within the preparatory training courses for entry into the company, the constant reminder of compliance with the rules in the workplace, the criterion for choosing company tutors, the certification of safe companies, are central elements to foster the creation of a real culture of safety.

“Before arriving in Rome as Director General of the national CNOS-FAP, I was lucky enough to direct the CNOS-FAP in Bologna for nine years, during which I saw more than 1,000 young people pass by,” declares Fr Fabrizio Bonalume. “During the company internship period, I saw these young people flourish again and rediscover self-esteem: for them it was a source of joy to feel appreciated in an adult context. And they knew how to recognize that the experience in the Salesian formation center had helped them along this path. All this became even stronger and more concrete those many times in which the internship ended with the proposal for an apprenticeship contract. On several occasions I was lucky enough to be present myself ... excellent, here’s another 'apprenticeship contract' signed thanks to Don Bosco."

170 years ago, Don Bosco inaugurated a way. Even today Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are committed to the same path.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".