(ANS – Brussels) – On the evening of December 6th, there was the evening debate on “TACKLING YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IN EUROPE: A CATHOLIC CHURCH’S PERSPECTIVE”, jointly organized by COMECE and Don Bosco International. The event counted on a significant Salesian Presence, Mgr. Adrianus van Luyn and Fr. Enrico Peretti, who delivered the welcoming speeches and Mr. Ivan Toscano who gave a keynote speech on the T-VET experience of Salesians in Italy through CNOS-FAP. The panel debate was also moderated by Ela Jakubek, who has a long Salesian experience.
In his intervention Mgr. Van Luyn highlighted the importance of Catholic organizations in providing formation to combat Youth Unemployment and the many measures that EU is trying to put in place. Despite all this, the problem is far from being solved. Fr. Enrico Peretti underlined the work of CNOS-FAP Federation and the Salesian European schools and VET Centres as co-actors for the development of a multi-sectoral skills alliance in Europe.
In his keynote speech, Ivan Toscano focused on three main areas:
- The endorsement of a comprehensive and integrated strategy to put into operation the European Youth Guarantee and Employment Initiative: among them, Ivan underlined the pilot initiatives led by CNOS-FAP on implementing dual system in Italy, “Services to Employment” (Servizi al Lavoro, “SAL” project) and Mobility initiatives.
- Lessons learned and scalable valuable inputs of CNOS-FAP and Salesian action at European and international levels to foster vulnerable youth transition to quality and decent work such as the shift from T-VET to Technical and Vocational Skills Development (TVSD), and the key role of fostering attractiveness of T-VET.
- The long path ahead towards youth social inclusion and employability in Europe: issues to be tackled, steps ahead and suggestions such as making VET a first choice in Europe, enhancing the impact and inclusiveness of European actions undertaken at Regional level and tackling youth long-term unemployment.
The keynote speech was followed by short inputs from three important stakeholders in Youth Unemployment: the European Parliament, represented by MEP Benifei who stressed the importance of Youth Guarantee schemes; the European Commission, represented by Helen Hoffmann, DG Employment, who shared some of the European Commission new initiatives to promote Work Based Learning. Finally, Tinkara Oblak, from the European Youth Forum, who shared the need of young people’s involvement in all the measures taken at EU and National levels, and the many efforts done by youth organizations to advocate for youth rights.
The event was concluded with an interesting debate and a light dinner. All participants were given the possibility to get to know deeper the Salesian proposal for Technical Education and Vocational Training as an effective measure to reduce Youth Unemployment and provide opportunities for young people.