Inclusive Excellence in VET: the experience of Cometa Formazione

“We need to offer excellence to everyone, to all VET learners […] no one should be left behind. In short, education should be both excellent and inclusive” (Thyssen’s message to EfVET Conference 2018).
In the recent EU policy on VET, the paramount vocation “to leave no one behind” is clearly stated, by promoting a “whole-school approach” in education for sustainable development (EU Council Conclusions, 2010). The Bruges Communiqué (2010) mentions VET role in promoting social cohesion and facing societal challenges, underlining its dual objective: excellence and inclusion. Also the Riga Declarations (2015) claim to “quality and attractiveness of accessible and inclusive VET” by “more flexible and permeable systems”. The EU New Skills Agenda (2016) invites VET to work on “personal fulfilment and development, social inclusion, active citizenship and employment”, in line with the strategy of “a resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth at territorial level” (Communication Strengthening Innovation in Europe’s Regions, 2017).
(Article published on the EfVET Magazine for Professionals – issue March/2020).

La Scuola Possibile: il Liceo del Lavoro di Cometa per i dispersi

Oltre ai percorsi di tipo ordinamentale, all’interno del sistema standard regionale di IeFP, Cometa eroga fin dal 2005 diversi percorsi per supportare ragazzi in situazione di disagio, in dispersione scolastica, minori stranieri non accompagnati, spesso raccolti sotto la denominazione di “Liceo del Lavoro”, un modello unico in Italia per le sue caratteristiche. Tale modello di formazione è cresciuto e si è consolidato come eccellenza formativa, anche grazie al contributo decisivo da parte della Fondazione San Zeno, partner di Cometa dal 2013 per i percorsi di contrasto alla dispersione scolastica.

VET For Inclusion And Identity Development: The Cometa Approach With Young Migrants

Cometa, located in Como, Italy, provides services to minors and young adults and is serving an increasing number of migrants. These young migrants are vulnerable due to their marginalization in areas such as language, cultural differences, and class status, and they face potential risks in not being able to find meaningful employment. This research proposal reports on findings from a qualitative study whose main objective was to examine students’ (who are migrants) and staff members’ growth and development through their involvement in a one-year long training course entitled the “Minimaster”. The Minimaster’s success relies on (1) a mix of training on professional subjects, e.g., enology, labour law, and Italian and English language literacy; (2) socio-emotional learning, e.g., communication skills, relationship building with local entrepreneurs; and (3) a combination of didactic methodology, e.g., strong work-based approach, as well as daily coaching and mentoring.
(Co-authors: Paolo Nardi and Terry L. Koenig, University of Kansas, for the ECER Conference 2019)

La Formazione Professionale per l’occupabilità: un esempio di eccellenza

Il progetto “Go! Giovani e occupazione, professionalità innovative nei settori chiave del comasco” è un progetto realizzato da Cometa Formazione tra aprile e dicembre 2018. Il convegno finale si è tenuto lo scorso 10 dicembre; qui gli atti.
L’intervento è stato sostenuto dall’Unione Europea nell’ambito del POR FSE Lombardia 2014/2020 – Asse III – Azione 10.4.1 nell’ambito del programma “Lombardia Plus – Anno 2018”: un’iniziativa di Regione Lombardia che sostiene azioni di formazione finalizzate all’inserimento lavorativo di disoccupati e target sensibili nei settori produttivi caratteristici del settore produttivo lombardo e che presentano le migliori prospettive di crescita e occupazionali.

Learning Enterprise in HVET: the case of Stenden Hotel

On May 16th, the monthly Cometa UNEVOC Centre Seminar hosted Thulani Xhali, CEO at Stenden Hotel. Stenden Hotel is one of the best practices in Europe in terms of School-Enterprise approach: it is a company including not only a hotel, but also a restaurant, cafeteria, catering service and providing event management and facilities. Students of the NHL Stenden University, enrolled at EQF5-7, play a role in different activities, from operational to strategical, according to their academic level. For every academic year, competences have been outlined and matched with the specific activities carried out in the several departments of the learning company. The main pillars of the pedagogical and organizational model, the pros and cons and the main challenges have been discussed during the seminar. The presentation given by Thulani Xhali has been streamed in cooperation with IATH Academy and EfVET. The video is available here. Slides are available on request (

Inclusive Excellence in VET: towards Lifelong Employability

Inclusive Excellence is the distinctive element in Cometa learning approach, with highly positive results in terms of students job placement and personal development. These results have been recently awarded by UNESCO-UNEVOC which included Cometa in its international network. The official announcement, at the presence of the President of Lombardia, has been the trigger for an international conference on the future of VET organized by Cometa, EfVET, UNESCO-UNEVOC and VETNET (European network of researchers in VET).

Reality-Based Learning And The Oliver Twist School: Towards A New Approach In VET

Recent debate on VET, at both institutional and academic levels, points out the need for new approaches able to face the current and future challenges: (technical and social) innovation, attitude to lifelong learning, internationalization, literacy, among the others (Dato, 2017). A stronger partnership between the industrial and the educational systems is increasingly suggested (WEF, 2016). However, it is clear that rather than rooted only on work-based learning, the needed competences for the “unknown future” (Mulder, 2017) depend on new approaches able to stimulate in the students/apprentices a lifelong learning attitude (Pouliakas, 2017). This research, based on a case study analysis, aims at outlining the main elements of originality of a new approach called “reality-based learning” developed by Cometa Formazione-Oliver Twist School and measuring a set of KPIs to evaluate outcomes and social impacts of the approach. In this approach, both the professional training and the general education are integrated in a learning process based on involving students in the design and production of real products for real customers in school’s workshops. The analysis outlines mainly positive results in terms of human and relational growth; cultural and professional growth; school dropout reduction and public system savings; employment increase.

(Article by Paolo Nardi and, from Politecnico di Milano, Irene Bengo and Debora Caloni, presented at ECER 2018 and published on the Special Issue of IJRVET)

L’Approccio Educativo di Cometa. Un Rapporto sulla Scuola Oliver Twist

Lo scorso 20 febbraio 2018, Cometa Formazione e Cometa Research hanno organizzato la conferenza “L’approccio educativo di Cometa. Rapporto sulla Scuola Oliver Twist”. Nel corso della conferenza è stato presentato ufficialmente il rapporto promosso da Fondazione Agnelli e curato da Gaia Banzi (Università di Milano Bicocca) con la supervisione scientifica di Susanna Mantovani (Università di Milano Bicocca) sulla originalità pedagogica e la trasferibilità dell’approccio di Cometa. Tra i relatori, hanno partecipato Shyamal Majumdar (Direttore di UNESCO-UNEVOC) e Mariavittoria Garlappi (ETF Foundation).  

Condividiamo le conclusioni del rapporto in questo blog. La versione completa in italiano e inglese è disponibile a questo link.

Un’alleanza educativa multi-stakeholder per la personalizzazione: la strada per i minori fuori famiglia

La promozione del benessere scolastico dei bambini e dei ragazzi che si trovano temporaneamente fuori famiglia (in affido etero familiare, oppure ospiti di comunità residenziali compresi i minori non accompagnati) è un tema oggi di grande rilevanza. Questo concept note rappresenta una riflessione sintetica frutto del lavoro di équipe di educatori e formatori che operano all’interno del network Cometa.

The steps toward excellence in VET: an overview on recent policies

“Making VET a first choice”: this is one of the main goals the recent EU New Skills Agenda (20161) has set for next years. Few months before, the so-called Riga Conclusions (20152) were approved during the EU Latvian Presidency by the Ministers of Education from the European Union Member States, candidate countries, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, endorsing the new medium-term deliverables for vocational education and training. During this meeting, the ministers, supported by the associations of the European VET schools, aimed at stressing their efforts “in raising the overall quality and status of VET in the context of the Copenhagen process”. What declared in Riga and promoted one year later in the EU Skills Agenda, represents a new crucial step towards a set of new priorities and actions which will affect in particular the VET system at European level.