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VEtrina Toscana in EUropa: Azioni di mobilità per lo sviluppo delle competenze nel settore enogastronomico
Start date: Nov 1, 2014, End date: Oct 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The World Organization of Travel and Tourism, WTTC , recently stated that tourism is one of the largest industries of the world, because employs 265 million people (with an expected growth of 337 million people in 2023 ) and that, currently generates about 9.4 % of world GDP with a growth forecast to exceed 10 % over the next 10 years. In particular, "gourmet" tourism, food and culinary art, in Italy, is in excellent health with an expected growth of +12 % per year , resisting the crisis and establishing itself more and more so internationally (CENSIS Data presented on last 15th February at the "BIT Event 2013" in Milan). This segment of the tourism sector is also an important tool for the promotion of typical local products, from crafts to food and wine, local retail, restaurants and agricultural production. The need for Tuscan food and wine entrepreneurs is to maintain a high standard of services offered, with a level of quality that will satisfy demanding and well prepared customers (national and international), in order to fight the global economic crisis. The needs of recent graduates from VET schools is to specialize, to acquire new skills on food and wine and culinary art by consequence of the potential of job opportunities offered by the sector. These two worlds are the demand and supply to meet that need to find a mutual benefit and profit. For these reasons, the Regional Council of Tuscany, since 2001, has been promoting the programme "VETRINA TOSCANA" (Network of enhancement of the typical Tuscan products that involve different economic and institutional actors) and that from three yeras ago included in the Special Programme of Regional Development (PRSE) and considered as an excellent model of communication and promotion of tourism. The project "Vetrina Toscana in Europa" (VET -EU) aims to be connected to this regional programme, promoted by the Regional Council of Tuscany, in order to offer the opportunity of an internship abroad to the students of Tuscan Tourism and Catering VET schools, participating to some dedicated training courses carried out within the farmework of "Vetrina Toscana" Programme (2013-2014-2015). The VET-EU project is promoted by an articulated partnership of local actors (Tourism and Catering VET Schools, CIPAT, institutional bodies, trade associations) and foreign partners. It aims to offer 80 recent graduates from VET schools in the hospitality industry of the provinces of Florence, Pisa, Siena and Prato, a great opportunity to provide more and more qualified sector services by performing a high quality mobility experience at European level. Participants have just completed (not more than one year) a path of education in the tourism and hospitality industry and many of them will be selected from the target group who has already participated in the training activities of the Project SCUOLE VETRINA TOSCANA (sub-programme of Vetrina Toscana) that, in 2013, has already involved around 300 students and plans to involve 600 extra students over the next two years, respectively 300 students in 2014 and 300 students in 2015. The Project VET-EU, in fact, aims to complete with a foreign mobility experience the training path of a a target of participants, who, having acquired knowledge and professional skills of cooking and culinary art, etc. have also carried out an intra-curriculum training path on the valorization of the characteristic of the local products of the the region (elements of Vetrina Toscana Programme). Participants, after their selection carried out by the 5 vocational schools, sending partners of the project, will receive an intercultural preparation as well as being stimulated to self-study on the host country, to improve their language skills and to actively participate throughout the international path. The preparation, therefore, involves multi-disciplinary pedagogical, linguistic and cultural preparation aimed to provide information, even of a practical nature, including various aspects of an internship abroad as well as knowledge and skills useful to a full integration into the context of the host country (e.g. highlights on the cultural aspects of the host country, lifestyles and working conditions). Participants will also be called before departure to deepen their language skills (comprehension , but also oral and written skills). The main expected results from the implementation of the VET-EU project affect not only its marketability within the job market, but also its positive influences on the development of human potential through its features of formal, non-formal (on the job) and informal learning.
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