In your opinion, why has
the Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro (School-Work Alternation, ndt) (now referred to as the “Percorsi per le competenze trasversali e per l’orientamento”) been reduced to a minimum?
To be honest, I find it difficult to understand. Funds have been halved (from around 100 to 50 million per annum) and the mandatory apprenticeship hours have been drastically reduced (they have been halved too).
This is the case, despite the fact that it is an experience deemed exceptionally useful at a training level by most students (especially those attending professional schools).
Training, stages and apprenticeships are topics that are dear to me and something I often comment on. At the end of last year, for instance, I commented on the fact that all too often stages in Italy are viewed in a negative manner. Both by the students, who think they are underpaid and exploited (despite the fact that – most of the time – it is their very first work experience and therefore they are unable to work autonomously), and also by businesses which, instead of assisting these young workers as a part of their educational process, end up taking advantage of them and assigning them all the jobs that nobody else in the company wants or has time to do (as if it were zero cost labour).
such experiences still remain a pathway of fundamental importance, as they are a direct link between schools and the job world.
Even more so if we consider that one of the major criticalities in Italian schools (primarily in professional schools) is that there is too much theory and not enough practice, so when school leavers enter a company for the first time, they have no idea what the work environment actually entails.
It is also for this reason that I have always considered Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro to be an extremely interesting and positive project, despite most of the enterprises in Italy having made bad use of it.
So, once again, why has this project been reduced to this extent? It sounds absurd, but they were better off eliminating it completely.
I mean, if on the one hand the objective of decreasing the mandatory hours spent working was to satisfy the requests of teachers and school managers who find it extremely difficult to find businesses willing to dedicate time to training young students in a serious manner, on the other hand the decision to half the funds assigned to the project seems to ratify the fact that very few believe in this project.
In my mind, a scheme such as the Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro Project should have been extended, not reduced
Perhaps increasing the incentives for businesses willing to train young workers. Or by introducing a control system to verify the correct use of this tool, together with a sanction based approach to deal with abusive or incorrect application.