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European Year of Skills

EU-funded course provided Letizia with the practical skills she needed to start her career: a successful upskilling story

Letizia enrolled in a vocational education course on circular economy funded by the European Social Fund (ESF+) after completing her bachelor's degree in biotechnologies to gain practical experience and enter the job market in the green sector.  

Letizia from MSC

Shortly after completing her bachelor's degree in biotechnologies, Letizia felt that a university diploma was insufficient to start her career. She lacked the right practical and technical skills to enter the job market and was facing difficulty deciding on a career path. 

As she struggled with the decision of pursuing a master's degree or entering the labour market without one, the local Public Employment Service in Reggio Emilia suggested that she should apply for the IFTS course in circular economy.   

Through this course, she had the opportunity to put what she had learned about the green and circular economy during her bachelor's into practice. She received her first job offer in a local company thanks to the traineeship organised as part of the course. This training helped her achieve career milestones, as she is now working for a Slovenian organisation that promotes the green economy.  

Letizia Piras told her inspiring stories at the European Year of Skills Festival that took place on the 9th of May 2023. Read more about the event here 


Istruzione e Formazione Tecnica Superiore, also known as IFTS, is a 1-year post-secondary vocational education programme that is run by Italian regions in collaboration with local organisations. These courses last 800 hours, of which 40% are spent participating in internships in companies. The purpose of these courses is to equip technical professionals with the skills required by the job market and new professions. Participants must have at least a high school diploma and be between the ages of 19 and 29. Due to funding from EFS+, participants could take the Centoform-proposed course for free.   

The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) is the European Union (EU)’s main instrument for investing in people. With a budget of almost € 99.3 billion for the period 2021-2027, the ESF+ will continue to provide an important contribution to the EU’s employment, social, education and skills policies, including structural reforms in these areas.