The Oliver Twist school, managed by Cometa Formazione, is a vocational education and training centre pursuing the specific aim to educate students to practice a profession. Since 2009 it has been providing vocational training courses (on carpentry, textile design and hospitality) for young people of compulsory school age and customised technical training to prepare them to enter the job market as well as professional training courses for unemployed people. lts courses and experimental learning pathways against the school dropout phenomenon through the rotation between school and work aims at placing the students in the job market. Cometa has developed an innovative model of education and vocational training to address the major societal challenges in the next decades. This model has been already awarded by EFT, European Training Foundation, as one of the ten best entrepreneuria programs in Europe, and short-listed by DG EMPL among the. best practices awarded during the 2016 VET Week. Projects in education and vocational training include a wide range of issues: after-school activities for students (help with homework; tutoring; counselling); CLIL project; Digital tools for teaching; development of "school-enterprise" method; education to sport. Approximately 400 students and 60 staff members (teachers and tutors included) are enrolled in the Oliver Twist School.
RELEVANT ACTIVITIES AND EXPERIENCE :
Based on the concept of "Experiental Learning", Co meta Formazione and its Oliver Twist school have implemented the "schoolenterprise" approach aiming at youth employability and entrepreneurship, as it develops students' skills involving them in producing real produets for the market in workshops open to the public. It is a flexible program, where each student, according to her/his learning needs, follows personalized steps across several modules which can be attended according to the personal skills to be developed or increased. Apprentices, after the program, are able to: manage competences in one of the available areas; generate a start-up; be involved in the generational change of local craftsmen. The school-enterprise model has been recently awarded by the EU Agency ETF as one of the ten good practises in Europe in enterpreneurial training programs. Besides the main VET courses, Cometa Formazione promotes several activities for special targets including dropouts, NEETs and people with disabilities:
- Liceo del lavoro: this course for NEETs provides not only basic knowledge but also specific activities of career guidance, focus groups and internships in local companies.
- Minimaster for NEETs: it includes specific training in the school-workshops and internships in one among the major hotel chains in the area of Lake Como.
- Special training, mentoring and internships for Foreign Unaccompanied Minors in the area of Como.
The described model led to very encouraging results, as pointed out by the recent analysis on social impact realised by Politecnico di Milano on the 2014-2015 school-year, with the following outcomes:
- 95% of students recognize their soft skills increased;
- 94% of dropout students completed their new ca reer at Cometa;
- Since 2012, more than 60% offormer students got a stable employment and no longer dependent completely on their families (average wage 900€ per month);
- The employment rate of former students is 8% high er than at other VET schools in ltaly.
SKILLS AND EXPERTISE OF KEY PERSONS INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT:
The team, according to the goals of the project will include 1 person from the board of the school, namely the Chairman (responsible for the economic and educational development of the school), the Project Officer (responsible for the project area for al most 10 years) or the International Project Officer (in charge of developing international partnerships; PhD in International Economics and MA in Public Policy). Principal and Vice-principal will be alternatively involved in the transnational meetings, in order to offer the best expertise in the evaluation of the partners' methods and practices. The team will be supported by a group of teachers and tutors involved in a PhD program (in collaboration with Universita di Bergamo) where they are specializing on high-level methodologies of didactics and pedagogy. One person in charge of administration will be involved (administrative accountant of many projects of Cometa Formazione, expert in planning and reporting).