The meeting started in the morning of Wednesday 18th of November with the greetings of Fr Miguel Angel Garcia, General Councillor for Salesian Youth Ministry, who thanked the participants for their important service with the young people and encouraged them to go on in these challenging times. Fr Tarcizio Morais, coordinator of the Salesian EuroProjects network, offered some ideas on how to better cope with the present challenges at the time of the pandemic. A time was offered in the same session for the sharing of experiences from different countries and contexts, as well as for the presentation of recent proactive good practices developed by the participants. In the last session of the first days, four different inputs were provided. Ivan Toscano, programme manager of CNOS-FAP (Italy), presented the most recent information on EU funding, including the Erasmus programme. Renato Cursi, Executive Secretary of Don Bosco International (DBI), shared the most recent updates on EU policies for education and vocational training (such as the European Education Area, the Digital Education Action Plan and the Pact for Skills) emerging after the 5th edition of the European Vocational Skills Week (9-13 November 2020). Tania Romualdi, from CNOS-FAP Bologna (Italy) and consultant for DBI, presented the “DBWAVE” (Don Bosco Web for a more Accessible and inclusive VET in Europe) project. Merche Lopéz, from the Salesian school of Saragoza (Spain), also presented a digital tool being developed within the framework of the DBWAVE project to track the experience of Salesian VET graduates in Europe.
On the second day of the Salesian Europrojects meeting, Joao Santos, Deputy Head of Unit in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, offered training on EU policies for VET and on “skills ecosystems”. Among these ecosystems, a particular focus was offered on the recent initiative of the Centers of Vocational Excellence. Positively impressed by the number of participants and acknowledging their important contribution to quality education in Europe, after his input Mr Santos replied to all their questions for over one hour. The last session was devoted to networking in separate groups according to different sectors: schools, VET, social works. While waiting for better times for mobility and international partnerships across Europe, this group of Salesian project managers highlighted the importance of strengthening the relationships among partners for future collaborations. Participants appreciated the formation and information provided and underlined how important it is to keep on studying in order to provide quality opportunities for young people in the coming years.