ITALY | Lucca Paper Educational District – Post graduate specialization course « Paper19 »

Lucca paper district plays a strategic role in the Italian national industry, with more than 100 companies and a strict connection with the territory, that is fulfilled also with a strong commitment to the educational world.
During the last decades, thanks to the dedication, engagement and cooperation between the industrial sector, university, high technical institutes and Confindustria Toscana Nord – the local branch of the National Industry Association – they have been able to build an extraordinary technical education system. The general purpose is to train young people transmitting them technical knowledge and to attract and retain skilled young workers in the pulp and paper industry.
By building a structed educational system, that is organized through different levels, they work with the aim of transferring and increasing the professional skills and expertise of the young people, in order to help them obtaining high level competences that are valuable for the paper industry. These educational initiatives are part of a complex system, starting from the guidance seminars organized in the middle school, to technical high school courses specifically designed on pulp and paper industry needs, to the higher level of university education.

Brief description of the best practice:
Paper19 is a two-year post graduate specialization course developed to train young graduate technicians and qualify them as SUPERIOR TECHNICIANS FOR PRODUCTION IN THE PAPER SECTOR. The course consists of 2000 hours of training: 1200 hours take place in classrooms/laboratories, while an 800 hours internship is organized in the companies.
This specialization has been realized thanks to the ITS PRIME Foundation, that requested the total funding of the initiative to the regional government.
ITS Prime, cooperating with Formetica and the associated companies of the paper and paper converting supply chain, structured the two-year course in coordination with Assocarta, Celsius, Lucense and Start, a professional technical center in which all the technical institutes of the territory participate (Polo Fermi-Giorgi, ISIS of the Lucca plain, ISI Garfagnana, IIS Galilei in Viareggio, Marchi-Forti Institute in Pescia).
This specialization course is characterized by the top quality of the training delivered, as well as a high percentage of placement at the end of the course (over 90%).

Key stakeholders:
– Teachers
– Pulp and Paper companies
– Students (graduates, aged between 18 and 29)

Specific Benefits:
– For teachers: most of them are first of all employees of the Paper companies, so providing the students with a practical and theoretical training perfectly aligned with the business requisitions. This is a way to carry out an initial training very specific to potential future workers.
– For companies: they are the main beneficiaries of highly qualified human resources who have been trained on specific content that are based upon their needs.
– For students: through these courses, graduated students reach a theoretical and practical education in a very short time, thus allowing them to know the companies located in the territory and tohave a live experience during the internship.

Conditions for success:
– Companies involvement in terms of technical human resources, essential for structuring a specialist training program, and availability for carrying out workshops, lectures, internships, tutoring;
– Strong local promotional activities to sponsor the initiatives