"The Center carries out activities to promote a guidance culture shared with the education and training system"

Entrevista

Laura Venturi, directora del Centro de Recursos de Orientación de la Ciudad Metropolitana de Bolonia, ganadora de la Mención Ciudad Orientadora, cuenta cómo funciona esta iniciativa

  • 01/12/2022
  • Tiempo de lectura 7 mins

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Laura Venturi. Directora del Centro de Recursos de Orientación de la Ciudad Metropolitana de Bolonia, área de desarrollo social
La Ciudad Metropolitana de Bolonia es la ganadora de la 7ª Mención Ciudad Orientadora, que se ha entregado durante la gala virtual de la 15ª edición de los Premios Educaweb el 1 de diciembre de 2022. Este reconocimiento de alcance internacional que otorga Educaweb en colaboración con la Diputació de Barcelona premia anualmente a la ciudad que destaca por su apuesta y compromiso hacia la orientación académica y profesional.
 
La ciudad italiana ha ganado este reconocimiento por ofrecer servicios de orientación a toda su ciudadanía a través del Centro Risorse per l'Orientamento Maria Luisa Pombeni della Città metropolitana di Bologna,. Este centro promueve una cultura orientadora compartida con el sistema educativo y formativo de la ciudad a través de un amplio abanico de iniciativas y servicios encaminados a mejorar la orientación de toda la ciudadanía.
 
En esta entrevista, la directora del Centro, Laura Venturi, explica qué les ha motivado a crear esta iniciativa, con qué objetivos y cuáles han sido sus principales logros hasta ahora. Para conocer más información sobre el proyecto te invitamos a acceder al vídeo del acto de entrega de los Premios Educaweb.

 
What brought you to create the Guidance Resource Centre of the Metropolitan City of Bologna and when did it start operating?
 
First of all, I want to thank you, on behalf of the Metropolitan City of Bologna, for this award which honours us and enhances an activity we have believed in from the very beginning.
 
The premise of everything lies in the belief that guidance is strategic to discover one's own characteristics and interests, to enhance one's uniqueness and help the individual to achieve satisfactory training and personal objectives which allow him to responsibly face the fundamental moments of choice.
 
The Guidance Resource Centre was born in the metropolitan area of Bologna in 2008 on the initiative of the Province of Bologna (now the Metropolitan City), in collaboration with the Centre for Transitions (CETRANS) of the University of Bologna and thanks to Prof. Maria Luisa Pombeni, to whom it is dedicated.
 
It represents the apex of fifteen years of studies and research-action on guidance, carried out in the Bologna area.
 
Between 2008 and 2015, the Resource Centre has worked particularly hard on the transition between lower secondary school and upper secondary school by spreading a methodology for the building up of the "guidance advice".
 
After a few years of inactivity, in 2019, thanks to co-financing from the European Social Fund (2014-2020 Operational Programme) and the Emilia Romagna Region, the co-planning, development and provision of the service was resumed.
 
The partnership between the Metropolitan City of Bologna, AECA and the Department of Educational Sciences of the University of Bologna has been fundamental. Today the Resource Centre represents the core of the guidance system of the Metropolitan City since it is strategic for all guidance and education policies.
 
What exactly does the Guidance Resource Centre of the Metropolitan City of Bologna consist in and which public and private entities are involved?
 
The Center carries out activities to promote a guidance culture shared with the education and training system and proposes a wide range of initiatives aiming at the diffusion and the improvement of guidance strategies for all citizens.
 
Its objectives are:
  • Ensuring a full technical assistance in the guidance field linked to the education and the training system by promoting support and consultancy activities for the planning and management of dedicated interventions.
  • Qualifying professional workers in the school and training field by increasing the professional skills of guidance operators.
  • Collecting and making available to the whole system, experiences, practices, and tools that can be used by guidance operators.
 
Today, various institutional subjects are involved in the activity of the Centre through partnerships: the Emilia Romagna Region, the Regional Employment Agency of the Emilia Romagna Region,  the Bologna Territorial School Office, the University of Bologna, Anpal Services (National Agency for Active Labour Market Policies), the Guidance and Employment Services of the Municipality of Bologna, Er.go (Regional Agency for the Right to Higher Education of the Emilia Romagna Region), and local realities representing the territory such as the Bologna Chamber of Commerce, the system of training institutions present on the Territory, the A.E.C.A Association, the Almadiploma Association (Association of high schools), the ITS (Higher Technical Education) Maker Foundation,  just to mention a few of our stakeholders.
    
What public academic and career guidance services are currently offered by this centre and what are their objectives?
 
Since 2021, the services offered have been:
 
  • The availability of an online portal which collects and makes available a wealth of guidance materials. Each item is accompanied by explanatory sheets for a correct use (over 180 guidance materials can be consulted) divided by type of intervention.
 
The materials can also be consulted in paper format at the headquarters of the City of Bologna Via San Felice 25 in Bologna:
 
  • The provision of an update service of materials (36 bulletins published since 1 December 2020) accompanied by reports of articles, videos and interviews dedicated to the theme.
  • The offer of a consultancy service for planning and implementing guidance actions in the respective contexts of belonging (over 510 consultancy hours provided since January 2021).
  • The implementation of seminar initiatives for educational community operators on guidance insights carried out throughout the year.
 
Registration to the Centre is free and can be completed by simply filling in a form. Through registration, it is possible to consult all the materials and it is also possible to download and/or print the documentation (there are over 224 teachers / guidance professionals currently registered).
 
For all its activities, the Centre avails itself of the technical-scientific contribution of the Department of Educational Sciences of the University of Bologna with which an agreement has been formalised.
 
Are the recipients of the service, citizens in general or are they specific groups?
 
The Centre is a second-level structure that is addressed exclusively to teachers, counsellors, educators, training tutors. Some initiatives concerning the activities for the preparation to the transition between the different cycles of study and/or work also involve students and their families.
 
What are the most important achievements of the Guidance Resource Centre of the Metropolitan City of Bologna? How do you measure their impact on service users?
 
Since 2019, 4 conferences on orientation have been held, 1 of which was internationally relevant.
 
Various innovative actions for guidance have been promoted and implemented over the territories. The Centre has also dealt with the spreading of these innovative actions through the territorial guidance system.
 
A scientific mapping of over 40 guidance practices activated by individual schools or groups of schools has been made.
 
The analysis and cataloguing of the orientation tools collected over the years, with a presentation of each material with a use sheet, has been realised.
 
Descriptive quantitative and qualitative reports have been published for every district of the Metropolitan City of Bologna (the Metropolitan City of Bologna is divided into 7 districts) in which opportunities, services and projects implemented are described.
 
The monitoring activity is organized with the entire professional community, who participates in order to share ideas for continuous improvement through focus group activities and questionnaires.
 
Furthermore, the Guidance Metropolitan Project and the Guidance Resource Centre of the Metropolitan City of Bologna have been recognised as best practice in Italy by the research "Tackling Educational Inequalities: Student Participation and Educational Guidance" (findings, specifically, from page 47), written by the University of Milan and financed by Action Aid.
 
What are the most important challenges facing the Guidance Resource Centre in the short and medium term and how do you intend to meet them?
 
The biggest challenge for the continuation of the activity is the consolidation of a "shared culture of guidance" in the metropolitan area, in a full integration with schools, professional training, services, local businesses and other institutional subjects.
 
It is essential to expand the organizational infrastructure built by the Central Metropolitan Office and the 7 Territorial Offices of the districts, which have been identified as "proximity places" where guidance policies can be effectively implemented on territories.
 
Another significant aspect is strengthening the guidance languages and practices, that today are poorly organized, systemic, and communicative.
 
Furthermore, it is necessary to expand the IT infrastructure of the site and dedicate financial commitments for the maintenance and increase of the services offered.
 
What recommendations would you give to cities that are interested in implementing a guidance resource service like yours?
 
For implementing a guidance resource service like ours, it is necessary to create an excellent network involving all the stakeholders interested in developing an education and training system. Therefore, it is important to weave and have excellent territorial relations (institutional and private).
 
It is crucial to have a collaboration with educational institutions and with those involved in school-training policies to create a multidisciplinary work group and a scientific methodological support in the field of guidance.
 
It is fundamental to understand what is already present in the area and then investigate/map what is already available before thinking of activating the services.
 
Finally, the financial availability to cover the costs of the system, external consultancies and innovative projects is essential.
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