·        Students from seven Italian technical schools will alternate school attendance with periods of theoretical and practical training on the job.

Rome, August 8th, 2016 - A new work-study apprenticeship program for the 2016-2017 school year 2016/17 is ready to go. It was developed by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and Enel, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

The workplace learning programme is aimed at students in the fourth and fifth years at technology-focused industrial technical schools in seven regions. The technical schools involved in the programme are: “Buccari-Marconi” of Cagliari, “E. Scalfaro” of Catanzaro, “Galilei Sani” of Latina, “G.Giorgi” of Milan, “Vittorio Emanuele III” of Palermo, “John F. Kennedy” of Pordenone and “B. Focaccia” of Salerno.

140 students will be hired by the Enel Group with a first-level apprenticeship contract that will be activated with the start of the 2016-2017 school year. At the end of the fifth year of studies, with the conclusion of schooling and graduation, taking account of an assessment of the experience with the company, a second one-year phase of vocational apprenticeship will begin. The duration of the total apprenticeship period will be 36 months.

During the school year, the apprentices will spend one day a week at the company, following a training programme focused primarily on the laboratory and the specific skills required. During the summer, the apprentices work full-time at company to gain direct on-the-job work experience alongside Enel’s operational teams and applying the concepts learned during the school year to the real world, using the safety skills they have acquired.

The first trial work-study apprenticeship programme at Enel was launched in 2014 with seven technical schools (“A. Avogadro” - Turin, “G. Marconi” - Piacenza, “A Pacinotti” - Mestre, “A. Meucci” - Florence, “G. Marconi” - Civitavecchia, “Fermi-Gadda” - Naples and “Giorgi” - Brindisi). The students involved recently passed their final exams with good results and 136 apprentices were deemed qualified by Enel to continue their work experience with the company.

Based on that experience, considered a success by both the schools and the company, the new programme kicks off today.

The idea to start this experimental project was born from a need to optimise the management of turnover in the company's operational and technical staff by bringing forward the entry of apprentices in the company during their schooling and sharing theoretical materials with the schools that are more closely aligned with industrial requirements, while providing on-the-job experience to complete individual training.

“Education must become the most effective structural policy against unemployment, increasing knowledge and skills, knowing and know-how,” said Italy’s Education Minister Stefania Giannini. “Initiatives like this are the proof. Work experience apprenticeships are a first for our school system, one that has worked: 136 students hired after they earned their secondary school diploma are great success. With Italy’s “Good Education” reform we decided to make a structural investment in work experience programmes, with 100 million euros a year in funding. This investment represents a cultural revolution to enhance the employability of our young people, combining theoretical knowledge with practical experience in the technical and professional fields as well as other areas of study. A real cultural revolution. It is the only way to enable our young people to discover their talents, give them the opportunity to develop their skills and guide their subsequent studies”.

"The start of this initiative, the product of a collaborative effort between Enel, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Education”, noted Giuliano Poletti, Italy’s Minister of Labour and Social Policy, “represents an opportunity for young people and underscores the commitment to improving their employability in order to facilitate their entry into the world of work. Specifically, this means giving young people, through the integration of classroom learning and experience in the workplace, an essential stock of skills and experience to respond to the needs of a rapidly evolving productive system. The use of first-level apprenticeships for students in technical schools is a key element of the educational cooperation effort between the school system and the labour market, exploiting the synergies made possible by Italy’s Jobs Act and the Good Education Act”.

“After the success of the first experiment, we are proud to present the new workplace experience apprenticeship programme developed in cooperation between ministries, educational institutions and the company”, declared Francesco Starace, CEO of the Enel Group. “This approach to integrating young people in the workplace allows us to bring forward the acquisition of technical and multi-disciplinary skills essential for working at the company, to accelerate the process of developing professional skills and to create a virtuous circle between education and the world of work. We are confident we will be able to count on willing and enthusiastic students to live this new experience, which will open their way to a highly satisfying vocational career.”

The project was made possible by the legal framework that, with Legislative Decree 81/2015 and the subsequent interministerial Decree of October 12th, 2015, stabilized the workplace experience apprenticeship as an additional way to enter the workplace. The involvement of the trade unions from the outset has also helped to build a set of shared rules to consolidate the programme.


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