Project “YOUth Ambassadors of Non-Formal Learning”
Interviewer: Alberto Cossu
Interviewee: Emanuele Frongia, Entrepreneur and representative of the FIPE association (Italian Federation of Business open to Public) of ConfCommercio (One of the biggest business associations in Italy) for South Sardinia
Date and location: 01.06.2020 Cagliari, Italy
List of questions for the Interview:
- What is non-formal education to you? Do you know if in our country/region there are laws, strategies, action plans that define and deal with it?
Having tested and experienced non-formal education firsthand, I can clearly recognize the benefits that it provides to the individual, thus also having feedback in society. Group work is valued and preferred, through which the individual can bridge the gap by sharing with others and vice versa, useful to develop social skills, enrich their personal growth and complete their extracurricular training. Italian legislation is not perfectly defined, and especially for those who are not in the sector, it is almost unknown.
- Participation in non-formal education events has a role…etc. What can it give to those who approach the world of work or want to become entrepreneurs? What is your personal experience (from youth in action projects to becoming an entrepreneur).
Through participation in international mobility projects, it will undoubtedly be easier to complete your curriculum training with non-formal learning, through which you can develop key skills, useful in everyday life and in the working world. From these experiences you get a 360 degree knowledge, since you are confronted with different realities, it will be easier to develop a critical awareness and to be able to analyze and deal with different hypothetical situations in an optimal way.
- Do you think that young people recognize the value of non-formal education?
No, it is not recognized first of all by young people, even by those who participate in mobility events, often missing the real aim/objective of these projects, thus losing the real value. Generally speaking, there is no real motivation for participation and learning. Adequate awareness-raising could help to fill this gap, as these experiences are consciously lived, complement and enrich the individual’s profile considerably.
- Within the group of entrepreneurs you represent and are part of, are there guidelines on employee selection? Is there any strategy/idea that takes into account what has been learned outside of formal education?
As in most companies, there are guidelines for the search for professional profiles. The scores will not be defined only by the various tests and qualifications of the candidate, but through these tests, we want to understand more deeply what are his strengths and weaknesses, such as real skills, learning and integration skills. Usually when an individual proposes himself, he tends not to tell and enhance his experiences related to non-formal learning, which would certainly be appreciated and enhance the candidate’s profile.
- Do you think that government and institutions should be more concerned with the validation and recognition of competences learned through non-formal education?
Absolutely, the recognition and validation of competences learned through non-formal education should be dealt with more and more clearly by the institutions. This can only happen when young people and youth workers raise awareness of this issue and “fight” for their own recognition.