The visit started with a meeting in the DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, where the board of CNOS-FAP was received by Joao Santos, Deputy Head of Unit for Vocational training, Apprenticeships and Adult learning. Mr Santos explained the perspective of the European Commission on VET and the initiative to promote VET centers of excellence all over the EU.
The second meeting of the day took place in the Permanent Representation of Italy to the European Union, chaired by Germana Viglietta, Attaché for Social Affairs. European, national and regional perspectives were also shared in the meeting, highlighting VET's multidimensional structure in the European Union.
After lunch, the group visited the headquarters of COMECE, the Commission of the Bishops Conferences of the European Union, where Alessandro Di Maio, Communication Officer, explained the purpose of COMECE's work in Brussels. The group had then the time to celebrate Mass in the Chapel of COMECE on the day of the Patron of Italy, St. Francis of Assisi.
The visited concluded with a threefold meeting with representatives of companies and civil society. Indeed, this last meeting started with Mr Tommi Raivio, project manager of CSR Europe, offering many insights on the future of work from the perspective of a federation of some large companies working on social responsibility within the EU. Then, Ms Giulia Meschino animated a debate on the new challenges of VET in Europe, from her perspective of executive and development manager of EVTA, a European network of VET providers. Finally, Mr Andrea Lapegna, communication officer of the Lifelong Learning Platform, discussed the future opportunities concerning the Erasmus+ programme for young people in the EU.
CNOS-FAP is present in 16 out of 20 regions in Italy and features 55 VET centers reaching around 26,000 young people. Furthermore, CNOS-FAP is not alone within the European network of Salesian VET providers. Meetings such as this one, which took place recently in Brussels with the support of Don Bosco International, are therefore very helpful in strengthening this network, opening new perspectives for its members and new opportunities for young people in Europe.