The Italian cooperative ASLAM (VET provider) seeks to respond to the skills needs of the companies in the region of Alto Milanese, by closely cooperating with them.
VET students (school based) – students in compulsory education (aged 6 to 16).
VET students (training) – students in compulsory training: young people who left school without a degree/diploma have an obligation to be registered in a VET institution.
Unemployed youth and adults.
Education level and sector
School level Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Adult training for unemployed adults
Type of policy/initiative
Level of implementation / Scope
Stage of implementation
Ongoing since 1996
Aims of policy/initiative
The measure seeks to respond to the needs of enterprises in the geographical area of ‘Alto Milanese’ (Higher Milan) by offering new VET pathways to young people who have dropped out or are at risk of doing so.
Features and types of activities implemented
ASLAM has 5 different kinds of activities:
- VET pathways (75% of all activities) offered to students within the age of compulsory education - machine operator, mechanical operator (thermo-hydraulics), welder, airplane maintenance, carpenter, and salesman/ woman.
- VET courses for the unemployed – these courses focus on mechanics, aerospace, healthcare and welfare, IT.
- VET courses for the employed, to update or gain skills – these courses are organised in the fields of IT, administration, languages, human resources management, communication and marketing, technical/professional training.
- Orientation and motivation for students.
- Support for the unemployed in their job searching activities.
ASLAM is financed essentially through its network of partners (foundations, chamber of commerce, banks doing corporate social responsibility). It also receives some funds from the region, although those are limited and are often in the form of regional ‘education endowments’. Individuals may also make donations through the tax system.
 ‘Dote Lombardia’ – Lombardia region endowment. These are funds from the region to which any citizen residing in the region has access to, in order to finance his/ her VET pathway.
Evaluation of the measure
The measure has not been evaluated externally. There are regular internal evaluations, the latest dating from 2003.
Evidence of effectiveness of the measure
In 2014 there were 364 students in the school, of whom 84% performed successfully (103 graduates), and 73% found work immediately after leaving the school.
The following success factors are based on the testimonies of participants in the measure interviewed for the Cedefop study:
- A sense of community: the environment in which students evolve at ASLAM consists of a group of teachers and trainers who work well together and remain easily available and close to the students. It gives the students confidence and helps them to open up and put in the required amount of work to succeed in their studies.
- Practical application: for all students interviewed, one of the most important things at ASLAM is the large amount of workshop hours, which keeps them away from desks and classrooms. Many of these students admit that they are not particularly interested in sitting in a classroom to learn Italian and maths, for instance. They’d rather put into practice everything they’re learning with their trainers and spend time in laboratories. ASLAM’s laboratories have both older and more recent equipment, to show students how machines used to work so that they can better understand how they work now. Old and modern are part of every class and which contributes to adding an interesting challenge for the students.
- Students feel valued and have a say in their future: the proximity with and availability of trainers and teachers allows for a close relationship with the students, who feel like they are being considered and listened to (many students come from schools where they felt teachers did not care for their situation).
- A sense of responsibility and belonging translating into the workplace: the school’s environment contributes to building a sense of belonging to a community among students. This is new for many ASLAM students and it is something that they develop and then reproduce in the workplace during their placements/internships. This translates into an increased sense of responsibility and professionalism in the workplace, which is greatly appreciated by the enterprises that often hire these students after completion of their training.