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Ferriere Nord receives an award for its School-Work Alternation courses

Developing courses in the framework of the school-work alternation programme and fostering the employment of new generations is a commitment that the Pittini Group has been renewing on a daily basis, thanks to the activities of its corporate school and its strong ties with the educational institutions on the territory. Micaela Di Giusto, President of Officina Pittini per la Formazione, tells us more about the BAQ Seal and why Ferriere Nord has been awarded it since 2018.

What is the BAQ Seal of Quality Alternation awarded by Confindustria and what is its mission?

The Seal of Quality Alternation (Bollino per l’Alternanza di Qualità – BAQ) is a certification awarded by Confindustria (the General Confederation of Italian Industry) that rewards enterprises who stand out for the high-quality of their school-work alternation courses, implementing successful collaborations with secondary schools and vocational training centres. “School-Work Alternation” (Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro) refers to the compulsory teaching methodology introduced by Italian Law 107/2015, which was later renamed “Transversal Skills And Orientation Programmes”(Percorsi per le Competenze Trasversali e per l’Orientamento – PCTO), which allows students to gain experience with an enterprise or an entity of the Public Administration. For high schools, as well as technical and vocational institutes it is a compulsory activity from the third to the fifth year of school. The objective of the BAQ Seal is to promote PCTO pathways completed during the year and to enhance the role of host companies from an educational point of view and in terms of facilitating the transition between school and the world of work.

Ferriere Nord was awarded the BAQ Seal for the first time in 2018 and has reconfirmed it ever since. What are the results and key attributes of the courses implemented at the production facility in Osoppo?

The fact that Ferriere Nord has been awarded the 2023 BAQ Seal of Quality Alternation by Confindustria is proof of Ferriere Nord’s ability to offer courses that allow students to experience the world of industry in a protected and educationally enriching environment. The production facility in Osoppo has confirmed the certification for the sixth consecutive year, primarily thanks to the strong relationships the Pittini Group has developed with many local schools and the Pittini Corporate School’s support in defining courses and educational programmes as well as in managing the students assigned to work in the various departments.

All the activities that the company carried out and concluded during the year are evaluated for the awarding of the BAQ Seal, taking into account the number of collaborations activated with schools, internship hours and the level of excellence of the developed projects. Since 2018, Ferriere Nord has hosted more than 160 PCTOs and established agreements with eight secondary schools.

Of these, the synergy forged with the Arturo Malignani Institute in Udine is particularly relevant, through which the Pittini Group has implemented a project involving students in the third, fourth and fifth grades every year, giving a three-year continuity to their internship experiences within the company.

The company as a whole and the Pittini Corporate School collaborate together to offer valuable training courses that are structured and improved on an annual basis. What distinguishes the Pittini Group’s PCTOs from those offered elsewhere?

First of all, it is essential for us that the projects we provide guarantee educational quality as well as safety in the production facilities. For this reason, we have chosen to host a maximum of two trainees simultaneously in each department, with each student remaining assigned to the same area for the duration of the in-company experience (three consecutive weeks), transferring from one department to the next only from one year to the next. As a result, the path that has been designed in this way leads to multiple benefits from both an educational and organisational point of view, because the trainees can get to know the production environment first-hand, understand its processes in depth and count on the constant support of their tutors. In this regard, the tutors are the other key element in the success of our courses and they are selected from among the Group’s employees for their knowledge, experience in tutoring and ability to teach. They are, in fact, the reference figure for the students we host in School-Work Alternation Programme courses, and the Pittini Corporate School has designed specific training for these tutors in collaboration with the managers as well as an occupational psychologist. The training aims to enable the tutors to develop an understanding of the impact of their role and to further develop their interpersonal skills.