FAR, the school of New Opportunities of Bages

Maria Aguilera and Jordi Asensio (FAR professionals), Carlos Muñoz (entrepreneur and trainer), Khalid Dahouche (ex participant) and Mariona Homs (Social Services director)

Through this programme we have already accompanied 1,856 young people in central Catalonia

The young people of the New Opportunities of Bages have a new facility, the FAR, the school of new opportunities that AMPANS has launched in Manresa. What used to be a vehicle mechanic workshop now houses 8 classrooms to accompany young people aged between 16 and 24 who have abandoned their studies and the training stage that would correspond to their age, prematurely and without having a job or clear future opportunities.

The young people currently participating in the New Opportunities course (217 young people) were the protagonists of the presentation of the FAR, and from each classroom they presented the projects they are working on. They did so in the presence of the Mayor of Manresa, Marc Aloy, the Director of Social Services, Mariona Homs, the Councillor for Employment, Cristina Cruz, the Executive Coordinator of the SOC, Josep Duran, and the territorial delegate of the Government of Catalonia, Montse Barniol, among others. Also present were the collaborators of the programme carried out by AMPANS, referring agents, companies and entities.

The New Opportunities programme began in central Catalonia in 2015, and has accompanied a total of 1,856 young people, of whom 378 have returned to their studies and 423 have joined the labour market. This is the case of Khalid Dahoche, who arrived, aged 17, on a boat in Andalusia, and through a video on social networks where the New Opportunities project was presented, he learned about the AMPANS programme and the next day he presented himself. Through a training itinerary, his trainer, the entrepreneur Carlos Muñoz, from CM Soldaduras Especiales, bet on him and has been working as a welder for more than 2 years. Both took part in a round table in which they were accompanied by the programme’s technician, Maria Aguilera, the head of training, Jordi Asensio, and the director of Social Services of the Department of Social Rights, Mariona Homs.

The FAR school is a commitment of AMPANS to dignify the training space of these young people and where from now on they will receive, in Bages, professional support for their future. The director of AMPANS, Toni Espinal, highlighted the innovative and daring nature of the programme promoted by the SOC, and asked the young people to make an effort and train, as athletes do, for their future. The SOC’s executive coordinator, Josep Duran, also spoke, highlighting the value of the AMPANS equipment, but more important, he said, is what is being done. “Imagination moves us to find solutions and this programme is key, and we are working on creating new support between the SOC and Education to consolidate it,” he added.

The Mayor of Manresa, Marc Aloy, closed the event by highlighting the innovative approach to accompanying these young people, who must be provided with suitable spaces that encourage their desire to prepare themselves and move forward.

New Opportunities is an initiative of the SOC, financed by the European Social Fund under the Youth Guarantee scheme. The programme is aimed at young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not working and have dropped out of school, with the aim of helping them regain their desire to learn and return to the education system or to train and find a job. It offers integrated guidance, training, accompaniment and intermediation actions and is characterised by offering young people itineraries of up to 2 years to develop their professional and personal project.

In collaboration with the Intermedia Foundation through a joint venture, AMPANS promotes the New Opportunities Programme in central Catalonia with points of action in Bages, Solsona, Berguedà, Anoia, Moianès and La Cerdanya. Since this spring, the head office has been located at FAR, the New Opportunities school in Bages, in Carrer de la Maternitat d’Elna, in Manresa.