DBI joins the Pact for Skills

Andrea Lilli
23 July 2021

“Don Bosco International” (DBI) has officially joined the European Commission’s “Pact for Skills”. The Pact was launched several months ago.

After gathering some members from within the European network of Salesian vocational training, the DBI sent the joint application and yesterday, 22 July, the European Commission informed them that it had been approved.

The “Pact for Skills” is a model of shared commitment for the development of skills in Europe. In the Pact, businesses, workers, national, regional and local authorities, social partners, intersectoral and sectoral organizations, education and training providers, chambers of commerce and employment services, all play a key role. To support an equitable and resilient recovery and achieve the ambitions of green and digital transitions and industrial strategies in Europe, the European Commission has invited public and private organizations to join forces and take concrete action for the upskilling and reskilling of workers in Europe.

Joining the Pact for Skills is complementary to the networking that Salesian vocational training has been developing in Europe in recent years.

In 2016, Don Bosco International, which plays a coordinating role in this network and a reference for relations with European institutions, joined the European Alliance for Apprenticeships.

This too is an initiative promoted by the European Commission to foster synergies between educational agencies, businesses and institutions in the creation of quality apprenticeships.

The DBI is also a partner of the “DBWAVE” project (Don Bosco Web for a more Accessible and inclusive Vet in Europe), Don Bosco’s network for vocational training (vet in the English acronym) more accessible and inclusive in Europe, together with another 7 Salesian partners from other 5 European countries.

Some of them supported DBI’s candidacy for the “Pact for Skills”. Together with DBI, in fact, the CNOS-FAP Federation (Italy), the SMM and SMX Provinces (Spain) and the vocational training centers of Tirana and Shkoder for Albania have already joined the Pact. The hope is that now other Salesian realities involved in the development of skills through schools, vocational training centers or other social works will join the DBI partnership for the Pact.

The recently adopted Osnabrück Declaration on vocational education and training and the Council Recommendation on VET for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience highlight that flexible, inclusive and quality VET is essential to ensure the success of the green and digital transitions, lifelong learning and sustainability in the long-term, and to tackle inequalities and social discrepancies. VET contributes to strengthen social integration and inclusion, ensuring that learners can find a path leading to personal development and employability. The combination between education and practical training is fundamental to understand and accompany current and future needs of society and economy, while fostering a culture of education that is integral, participative and polyhedric. 

The event “VET for integral and inclusive education in Europe”, jointly organised by COMECE and Don Bosco International, aims to explore the recent achievements of EU institutions and EU Member States in the field of Vocational Education and Training, in the perspective of the green and digital transitions and the changes brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. It also intends to highlight and discuss the contribution that VET providers are offering on the ground in EU countries and beyond, by providing quality vocational training, upskilling and reskilling programmes, working towards inclusive and integral education in challenging times.  

The event will gather representatives from EU institutions and VET providers from Europe, in order to create a platform for dialogue and exchange on the most urgent educational issues and on the solutions that VET can offer for the future of the EU. The event will see the participation of Ms Janine Costa, Permanent Representation of Portugal to the EU; Mr Joao Santos, European Commission; Ms Miriam Lexmann MEP, European Parliament; Mr Denis Leclerc, Association Maisons Don Bosco; Mr Paolo Nardi, COMETA Formazione and Mr Alfredo Garmendia, Centro San Viator, Redi EBI and HETEL.

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