The Salesians' interest and commitment to Vocational Training was born with St. John Bosco. For the Saint of Young People, vocational training was not just a way to help young people enter the world of work with more dignity, and avoid being exploited and underpaid, but a way to help young people to be, first and foremost, "good Christians and honest citizens."
In Italy, the world of Professional and Vocational Formation has been enriched in the last two years with the launch of so-called "dual pathways": a first-level apprenticeship, and a more "intensive school-work alternation"; young people alternate their attending Professional Training Centers with working in a company, the sum of which lead to their obtaining their degree. This is a novelty that the Salesian world has much appreciated and believed in, but needs be inserted and integrated into an organic and wholly recognized system of Professional Training.
To affirm this need and, more generally, to reiterate the value and importance of Professional and Vocational Training, CNOS-FAP has organized the national conference being held tomorrow. The conference's initial paper will be entrusted to Alessandro Rosina, a demographer of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan. The study draws on the results of the "Youth Report" of the Toniolo Institute, currently one of Italy's most interesting research activities on the world of youth, and explores the link between youth and Vocational Training, and the opportunities the latter represents for the young people themselves.
Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA, economist at the Pontifical Faculty Auxilium in Rome, will address the importance of Vocational Training in educating young people on the meaning and significance of work.
Arduino Salatin, Vice President of INVALSI, will speak on the relationship between Vocational Training and the Educational System, while Ermanno Rondi, Head of the Technical Group on Professional Training and Work-School Relations and Internships for Confindustria, Italy's national association of Industrialists, will discuss Vocational Training as an answer to the needs of Italian companies.
Fr Stefano Martoglio, Councilor for the Mediterranean Region, will close the conference.