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Who We Are

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"We shouldn't be afraid of our future. We are the future."

Tony, 17 years, Lecce


Our goal is to provide a productive and efficient transition system that guides and supports young people from school to work.

StartNet is a network for cooperation, collective action, and impact on young people’s transition from education to work.

It has two levels of action.

The regional network StartNet Italy, plans and implements projects locally in Apulia and Basilicata. The network gathers schools, governmental institutions, businesses, youth groups, and the third sector.

The StartNet Europe network brings initiatives and organisations that operate in young people's transition-to-work from European regions together, to promote the dialogue and exchange of good practices between them, to create opportunities for learning together and to make their voices heard with the EU institutions.

Funded by the Stiftung Mercator and by the Goethe-Institut, the StartNet network was officially launched in September 2017 in Bari.

The backbone offices of StartNet are part of the Goethe-Institut Rom and of the Goethe-Institut Brüssel. Our projects pool together national, European and private funds in effective, long-term and sustainable ways.




The Stiftung Mercator is a German-based foundation committed to projects in education, culture, science and art in different countries in the world. The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany worldwide. The Goethe-Institut has been working actively in Italy with schools on career guidance. Following the growing youth unemployment, which was triggered by the global financial crisis especially in Southern Europe, the Stifrung Mercator and the Goethe-Institute decided to act, and gave birth to StartNet - Network transition education to work in two hardly hit regions, Apulia and Basilicata, for the period of 2017-2020.