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June 21, 2011

The school: factory of the future

Galileo Galiei high school - Arzignano

The job is one hundred per cent, the companies stand in a queue to take on qualified people. Theoretics competence and technical background. The Galilei high school, situated in Arzignano area, is a laboratory which invests on the tanning future, the basin of choice for the most important brands. This school makes as its style the entrepreneurship.

In June the students finish the school and have already a job. In September all of them are already employed; someone even knows where he will be going to work before graduating. Mrs. Guendalina Trovo, has been teaching for 10 years applied chemistry, analytical chemistry and tannery technologies at Galileo Galiei high school, where, at the course named materials and chemistry, are instructed the future tanning technicians.

Which kind of qualifications does the tannery school offer?
It’s like in the kitchen; there is who makes the recipe and who knows how to invent, to interpret, to modify the receipe. We graduate technicians or  not merely performers of a recipe but people who are able to develop it , interpreting what they have available, intervening in the process to fix it, correcting the processing where there are problems. During the three years we  teach to the students all the phases of the leather processing, from the raw product till its commercialization, from the wet to the tanning and to the finishing process, at the same time we offer solid foundation on the training in chemistry and physics.

Which is the relationship between the school and the local companies?
The companies, even the small and medium ones, are turning to the school because they need skilled people. There was a time when the companies hire, for example, ten workers. Today they prefer hire eight workers and two technicians, because the technician that has a general preparation, is more easily replaceable. At the beginning when the school was born the traditional course had a practical approach: many hours for the technical-applicative subjects, vice versa it was not guaranteed a sufficient general training, because for example the students studied English language only till the third year and maths till the fourth year. Globally their skills didn’t answer to the needs of the district which require people that speak good English and that know informatics. In the nineties a technical commission of teachers decided to review the syllabus and it was born a new course of study where at the technician who in laboratory follows the technical-applicative aspect of the discipline was accompanied by a teacher who follows the theoretical preparation. The idea is good but even if, in my opinion, the course is unbalanced towards the theory: there has been a decrease of the technical practices time. This does not mean that the school continues to provide the most popular professional competence so that there are requests for personnel which we are not able to satisfy.

Where does the students find an job?
Mostly are employed as technician in the tanneries specially in the chemical companies, which today are those that most of all involved in research and development. It should not be understood in a reductive way the term “tanning technician”. Here in this school big brands as “Bottega Veneta”, “Luis Vuitton” caches employers: the big brands need of people who know if the leather is beauty, further than been beauty is adaptable for a certain product too. The Arzignano district has developed historically a propensity at the furnishing sector but today, cause of the crisis, it is oriented to the footwear and clothing sector, which are more dynamics and where it is requested to be versatile.

The challenges for the future of the school?
The school has a shortage of funds, for sure. In my opinion the direction to follow is to move in a more entrepreneurial logic. We organize training also after graduating, with apprenticeship courses for that they are carried out at school and vice-versa we promote training in the company before the end of the school through internships and scholarships, seminars and collaborations. The companies answer, do not hold back, even when there are money to be invested. I think the school should its “own internal tannery”: no more than a laboratory, but production company. It would be requested to collect some orders, follow the working cycle not delayed it by week to week depending on the school hours but on an ongoing basis. We know how things have to be done: the school, for example, makes measurements on leathers, as a third entity, in order to issue certifications which have a legal value. We make also analysis to test the fireproof gloves for firemen, the boots for forest guards, the gun holster for policemen. If we ask to entrepreneurs to support the school, the school also must become entrepreneurial.


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