Even during the pandemic situation, CEIPES kept investing in the empowerment of young people, both on national territory and at European and extra-European level. That’s why from April to June, the association hosted two Portuguese trainees from ESPRODOURO – Escola Profissional do Alto Douro high school. The students involved in the project, in the VET (Vocational Education and Training) context of the Erasmus + programme, were supported by one of the major partners of CEIPES, the IRSEI Academy. The latter played the role of intermediary organisation, a role that CEIPES still plays in other mobility projects.

This project allowed the involvement of two different students, whose field of interest is management. For this reason, one of the students carried out a traineeship path within the FLAT (Finance, Logistics, Administration & Transparency) department. The trainee had the chance to learn the basics of the financial mechanisms of the third sector, also practicing the use of the main tools of the trade and comparing the main differences with the Portuguese financial system of origin, under the direction of the financial manager.  

Below, a short feedback of the student: 

“Hi, my name is João Sousa, I’m 18 years old, I’m from Portugal and I carried out my Erasmus programme in Palermo as a trainee at CEIPES centre. It was a very positive experience, it made me grow up personally and professionally. I have learned a lot, especially in the financial sector, and I have developed new skills in the use of computer tools such as Excel. From a logistic point of view, everything went well, we were warmly welcomed and well treated in Palermo, where we spent a comfortable period of three months. From a cultural point of view, it was very interesting seeing with my own eyes the neoclassical style of the buildings and deepen the history of important people like Falcone and Borsellino. It was definitely a unique experience that I would do again.” 

The second student involved in the activities of CEIPES approached instead the Project Office of the association, which deals with the implementation of EU-funded projects. In this case, the traineeship included an interesting deepening of the reporting mechanisms of European projects and other local projects. For a complete training and for the enlargement of skills, this experience also included the participation of the student in project management activities in the ordinary implementation of the activities of CEIPES. To conclude, the trainee’s point of view: 

“Hi, I’m André, I’m 19 years old and I’m a student who took part in the VET program, doing an internship at the Palermo office of CEIPES. It was a very nice experience and one that taught me a lot. Actually, I did several activities, from using 3D printing to participating in online meetings with participants from different cultures and countries. I also had a tutor who was always there and willing to offer his help when required. With the tutor, we conducted weekly assessments of our skills designed to check the overall condition of the experience. CEIPES is an association that deals with European projects, an area of which I have learned a lot and this will help me in my professional future. I feel that I have grown a lot during these months, I have taken on more responsibility and I have become a man. In conclusion, I really enjoyed working at CEIPES and maybe one day we will collaborate again.” 

Through these two experiences CEIPES was able to observe the development of skills of two young students, teaching new and valuable skills, but most importantly allowing for exchange and dialogue on practices and operational procedures with an international perspective. The relationship that was established with the trainees, the focus on teaching them and the favourable conditions of the internship allowed CEIPES to learn new elements about Portuguese culture and the students to have their first structured experience abroad.