This autumn, the StartNet team was very active at European conferences. As a member of the EAfA (European Alliance for Apprenticeship), StartNet was invited to Helsinki for the European Vocational Skills Week as part of the Finnish EU Council Presidency. Important topics in the workshops were apprenticeship, vocational training, entrepreneurship and the future of career guidance. In addition to the European StartNet partners Cometa Formazione and Aliseo Liguria, the Fundacion Secretariado Gitano was also present. The Fundacion was awarded with the VET Excellence Award for its #EmpleandoDigital project. Congratulations! Thank you also to our network partners who supported the nomination!

At a conference of the Goethe-Institut on the future of vocational training in the context of international skilled worker mobility in Berlin, StartNet participated to the discussion on current trends. A distinctive feature of StartNet is that it deals with the shortage of skilled workers not by promoting the mobility of young people from one country to another, but rather, by developing partnerships and joint solutions in the region of origin. This is considered a very important aspect in Italy, especially because of the trend of skilled young people moving outside of their region or of Italy (brain-drain is a major issue in Italian media). This approach was met with great approval and interest.

The NECE-Conference on political education in Glasgow was on “Confronting Inequalities! The Role of Citizenship Education”. StartNet participated to the panel Bridging Social Inequalities in Youth Access to Learning and Employment”. An important conclusion was that cross-sectoral and multistakeholder approach can empower young people not only for the labour market, but also for political and social participation. Other initiatives showed great interest in participating in StartNet Europe’s experts’ dialogue.