Trentino  invests in the most innovative and up to date models of professional training, it was the first region in Italy to activate the fourth year of technical training (2004), an integrated system for Higher Vocational Education (2006), and first to test a new model of ‘academic federalism’ for its University (2009). Thanks to this agreement between the Italian Government and the Autonomous Province of Trento (the “Accordo di Milano”), Trentino has a real opportunity to field test this model which is similar to those already used in other countries including Germany.

Some data about Trentino's training, education and research system:

  • 17 qualification paths
  • 20 professional degrees
  • The University of Trento is at first places in national rankings
  • 16.000 students
  • 180 research fellows 
  • 700 PhD students
  • 2.500 researchers

The vocational education and training system in Trentino is based on the ability to respond to changing demands for human resources coming from both the economy and regional development strategies, including the emerging social needs of young people and their families. The annual planning of training activities takes into account the priorities emerging from the analysis of the socio-economic and employment outlook and is the result of an on-going dialogue with industry associations and enterprises. The system also guarantees diversified and combined training services. Trentino has adopted, therefore, a model that enhances the flexibility, customisation, territorial excellence and work experience, giving the training which takes place in the workplace identical educational value to training in the ‘classroom’.

Since 2006, the ‘Alta Formazione Professionale - AFP’ (Advanced Vocational Training), located at the end of the second cycle, provides tertiary non-academic training equivalent to the national system known as Istruzione Tecnica Superiore (ITS).

The AFP vocational paths are selected by a round table composed of representatives from business associations and experts in the relevant fields. In both the design phase, and the implementation of the courses, the training system foresees a close synergy between educational institutions, companies in the sector, universities and research centres. In this way, applied research activities form an integral part of the implementation of the courses, anchoring training to new areas of development and fostering technology transfer.

With the implementation of the Rovereto Mechatronics hub, new centres of excellence and specialisation have arisen as a result of the interconnection of various actors in the training sector (technical schools, colleges and vocational training centres) and the production sector (companies), as well as university and research. The Trentino system therefore provides a comprehensive learning environment able to train qualified personnel for various levels of expertise.

The availability of secure and significant resources, and the possibility to adopt a renewed and autonomous legal structure, allows the Trentino training system on the one hand to adopt a dynamic and flexible organisation, with service standards in line with international ones, and on the other, to better meet the demands and needs expressed by businesses, professions and the job market in general.

The Employment Agency organises training courses for companies aiming to facilitate the integration into the labour market. First of all, the scheme supports training for newly employed young people with apprenticeships or on the job training (with a catalogue of more than 300 training modules). It also organises courses for the unemployed and employees working for companies with recognised financial difficulties (‘CIGS’), on the request of the employer. For young people employed with an apprenticeship contract, free training is provided for over 55 roles.

As part of on-going training, companies are also supported through funding for the training of managers and technicians with specialisation periods involving breaks from routine work (contributions from 5,000 to 25,000 euro).