Paving the way towards employment

Salesians focus on young people with less opportunities to boost employment. The "First professional experience" program: an overview

Over the past months the Pinardi Federation of Salesian social platforms, in cooperation with the “J.P. Morgan Chase” Foundation, have promoted in Spain the “First professional experience”, which in less than a year has managed to increase employment opportunities for 97 young people and ensure a job to 71. The results were presented a few days ago in Madrid, Spain. “First professional experience” was launched past October with the purpose of “meeting the challenge of creating new job opportunities for young people in our society”, said Jesús Javier Llorente, president of the Pinardi Foundation. Young people participating in the project have learned specific skills in their areas of training with partner companies and also received English lessons, financial education and acquired other professional skills thus improving their level of employability. Good results. 73% of those taking part in the “First professional experience” program have obtained a job contract in the first year of the project: 71 young people in situations of vulnerability have entered the job market. The cooperation project has involved 97 young people with associated enterprises that welcomed them in their premises for a 2-4 month period. Youths were guided by a tutor who motivated their professional progress and each of them received in-house vocational training. Among the companies that contributed to the program figure the most important hotel chains, catering groups and tourist agencies such as Meliá Hotels International, Hilton Madrid Airport, Grupo Vips, Parques Reunidos, Kfc and Accenture Foundation. The human person at the centre. During the presentation of the first year of the program at the American Space, in conjunction with the Embassy of the United States, Jesús Javier Llorente, president of Pinardi, remarked that the program proved to be an effective formula to put an end to youth unemployment, and underlined that Pinardi “focuses on the most vulnerable persons in society, with a working model whereby the human person is at the centre of all activities”. Panel speakers included Pedro Boada, Senior Manager at JP Morgan in Spain. He underlined: “These results show that cooperation between companies and social organizations is the way to ensure a present and a better future to these young people. This will also trigger growth prospects for Spain, a target of the JP Morgan Chase Foundation”. The US Embassy was represented by the Cultural Deputy Attaché Matt Boland who illustrated the cooperation offered by the embassy through various initiatives, such as the “masterclass” held by chef Byron Hogan. A valid program. In presenting the overview of the program, the strategic members of the project delved into some of its most innovative aspects. Juana Gálvez, from Fundación Accenture, spoke of the importance of “cross-sectional” skills, imparted by volunteers from Accenture in various workshops. Participants in the presentation also took part in a debate with human resources managers from Meliá España, Kfc, Grupo Vips, Hotel Hilton Madrid Airport and Grupo Parques Reunidos, who highlighted the value also for enterprises of initiatives such as “First professional experience”. Enterprises consider of special importance the social and economic value linked to employees undergoing vocational training that improve the job environment and promote leadership skills. All the results of the initiative, along with a video with images and contributions by the recipients of the project, can be accessed on the website of the Salesians.

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