Author - Giorgia P.

Sartoria Paola Girardi: A winning combination of fashion and education in the heart of Vicenza

Today we interview Paola Girardi, owner of the homonymous tailor’s shop in Corso Fogazzaro, always very active in the fashion but also in the training field.

• Mrs. Girardi, what do you do?
In my artisan tailor’s shop, I produce tailor-made women’s garments and I also make changes or repairs.

• What does make you an excellence of the Vicenza and more generally Italian tailoring?
There are 3 qualities that stand me out: effort, research, ability.
I opened my business in 1983 and this certainly involved a lot of effort, not only from the practical side. You know in fashion, creativity is not enough, you must also have an eye to the big brands, constantly face each other with companies that do the same job, but at a higher level, to always try to improve and be competitive on the market. This is what I call research, but then it must be translated into concrete acts: out of this, for example, the participation in cultural events and training activities. The ability to manage human relationships, to create connections, is in fact fundamental: interacting with customers, advertising my work through the website or social networks, being an active part of the Vicenza craftsmanship are some of the ways that allow me to give visibility to what I do.

• Do you have employees or coworkers?
I have been collaborating with external tailor’s shops for several years, then they closed because of the crisis that has been between 2008 and 2010 and I therefore chose to remain alone. I have never had permanent employees because unfortunately in Italy there are not enough tax breaks and moreover it takes at least ten years to train a person in this field, which is for me not affordable.

• What kind of costumers do you have?
My clientele is medium / high. It is composed not only by people from Vicenza (some loyal customers from the 80s) but also by customers who come from outside the region or from abroad.

• How long have you been welcoming trainees? In which areas? From which country have you welcomed trainees so far?
I have been welcoming European trainees as seamstresses since 1997 thanks to Eurocultura but I also collaborate with other entities, including, for example, the Confartigianato (Craftsmen’s Association). The trainees mainly come from Spain, Germany, France, Finland, and of course Italy.

• How do you organize the placement and the “follow-up” of the trainees? What are the tasks assigned to them? What can a trainee learn from you?
At the beginning I try to “test the waters” to see what they can do: I get them to carry out simple machine or hand works on fabric samples, leaving them all the time they need. In this way they do not feel under pressure and I can understand what the best for them is. I think it is important to have the peace of mind, first because this is a craft work and not an industrial production and then because the trainees are here to learn, so it is a moment of study and growth for them, professional as well as personal.
Trainees have here the possibility to touch all the fabrics, dealing with basting, hand and machine sewing. Obviously, the complexity and variety of tasks assigned also depend on their skill, dexterity, desire to get involved.
Certainly, with me they can learn a lot, not only doing ordinary tasks but above all watching me working and therefore learning with their eyes. In fact, trainees are never left alone, they can always rely on my guidance and constant supervision.

• How do you get on with trainees from Europe?
I have always had wonderful experiences with Eurocultura’s trainees and I think their preparation is excellent. Although I do not have in-depth linguistic knowledge, I have always managed to instill my teachings and my passion to the trainees.

• Tell us something funny that happened to you!
I remember in particular two episodes that I would like to tell you.
The first dates back to 2004, the year in which I welcomed Claudia, a German girl, into my tailor’s shop. She created a dress based on the legend “the chocolate girl” for the inauguration of the new headquarters in Corso Fogazzaro and she gave me a photo album about her experience in Italy. I enjoyed it very much and of course I still keep these gifts.
In 2013 Teresa, another German trainee that I was hosting at the time, convinced me to organize a fashion show in my tailor’s shop with thirty of my personal clothes for my 30 years of activity’s anniversary. We created the event on Facebook and I must say that it has been very successful, attracting many young people. I do not deny that this made me very happy!

Intervistatrice: Federica Perazzolo, Eurocultura



Herzlich Willkommen Antje und Fatima! Welcome to #Vicenza! You will learn how it is to be a nurse in Italy. We wish you to gain lots of experience and know-how. Your life will be richer after that.

#erasmuseurocultura #learningmobility #mobilitymadeinItaly



And one more group from Spain this year! Mario and Pablo are doing their vocational training in the administration sector. We are sure they will learn a lot in our local companies. 🙂

#erasmuseurocultura #learningmobility #mobilitymadeinItaly

#Calatayud #IESEmilioJimeno


We are very pleased to go on with the cooperation with the Berufsbildungswerk im Oberlinhaus. We wish all the best to this group of participants and tutors: your competences will be strengthened from this international traineeship!

#erasmuseurocultura #learningmobility #mobilitymadeinItaly



New participants from Germany

Welcome to our new participants from Germany! From electricity and mechatronics to hairdressing, from construction to administration: you all will gain new competences for your future. Have a rich experience!

#erasmuseurocultura #learningmobility #mobilitymadeinItaly
@HWKErfurt @go2europe @Verein für Arbeitsmarktintegration und Berufsförderung AIB e.V.


Nuova Sida automatic turnery

We interview Giulia Zanetti, CEO and sales manager of Nuova Sida S.r.l., a company located in Camisano Vicentino, taken over by her father Carlo 27 years ago.

• What does your company do?
Our company is an automatic turnery specialized in turning small parts and mechanical components according to the customer’s design.

• What are your strengths?
Our company specializes in the production of lathed items in alloy steel, copper, aluminium and plastic. The large number of machines we are equipped with is surely an asset that allows us to meet the different production needs. The company is also certified according to the UNI EN ISO 9001:2015 quality standard and is getting ready to obtain the ISO 18001 certification for safety.

• How many employees do you have?
We have a total of 25 employees.

• What kind of customers do you have?
The numerous machines we have allow us to meet the needs of several sectors (mechanical field, plumbing industry, etc.). We therefore collaborate with local craftsmen as well as with large multinational groups. We have about 35% of foreign customers, most of whom are German (around 70%).

• How long have you been welcoming trainees? In which areas? From which country have you welcomed trainee so far? Would you possibly be available to welcome trainees in other areas (administrative, commercial, etc. …)?
It is in the collaboration between the experience of those who have been in the sector for decades and the innovation of the new generations that Nuova Sida creates its progress and gets ready for the future. We have therefore always welcomed Italian trainees and in the last 5 years, thanks to the collaboration with Eurocultura, European trainees too. The trainees, mainly from Germany and Spain, are included in the production area as they are mainly young people in training as metalworkers. It would be difficult for us to include trainees in other areas because the so-called “desk job” is closely linked to our internal management system and would therefore be unproductive and not very stimulating for them.

• Which are the tasks assigned to them? What can a trainee learn from you?
The trainees usually work alongside our employees in the management of CNC machines and they collaborate in the quality control of items in production using the main measuring instruments (calipers, micrometer, altimeter …). The trainee has therefore the opportunity to experience the high quality of the production process, the pride and joy of our company and of the Italian business scene in general.

• How do you organize the placement and the “follow-up” of the trainee?
The trainee works single shift, with a one-hour lunch break.
Usually the working hours are adapted to the timetables of public transport with which the trainee reaches our company.
He is supported by a supervisor, usually the head of the department, who is always there to oversee the work and to answer any doubt or need.
We also offer trainees a completely free canteen service throughout the period of the traineeship.

• How do the company’s employees react to the trainee?
Our employees have always cooperated with the management for a perfect integration of the trainee within the company. There is always a good atmosphere in the workshop and even those who do not have excellent linguistic knowledges have always managed to interact with the trainees without too much difficulty.

• How do you get on with trainees from Europe?
As you can see in our logo wave an Italian flag and a European flag, this means that Nuova Sida is a company that does not want to close within its borders and that in recent years has increased its relationship with foreign markets, above all the German one.
Welcoming European trainees is therefore an enrichment for us and we must recognize that so far we have always had very well prepared and diligent young people.

• Does your staff speak English?
We have 2 reference persons in our foreign customer service, who speak very well English and they are always there. In the workshop the staff does not speak perfect English, but it has always been able to communicate with the trainees and the language problem has always been overcome.

• Tell us something funny that happened to you!
It’s to me funny that many of the trainees we had, among all the good and beautiful things of our territory, have not failed to visit the main distilleries of Vicenza to taste our grappa. And I can’t blame them!


Interviewer: Federica Perazzolo, Eurocultura



A great experience in international cooperation

We interviewed Barbara Elia, head of the financial department of ALDA – European Association for Local Democracy.

• What does your association do? What is your mission?

ALDA is a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting good governance and citizen participation at a local level. It therefore focuses on activities that facilitate cooperation between local authorities and civil society. It has been active in the European Union and in neighboring countries since 1999, coordinating 14 Local Democracy Agencies (born in the Balkans after the war) and 3 operational partners.
The activities of ALDA help to increase citizens’ understanding and sense of belonging to the European Union and stimulate intercultural dialogue and civic participation. This is done mainly through four main pillars: citizenship, culture, education and volunteering; social issues; empowerment and employment of young people; health and environment.

• How is ALDA hierarchically organized? How many people make up your staff?

The operational staff of ALDA consists of 25 people and the Governing Board of 15 people. The office of the Secretary General and the office in charge of the Europe area are based in Brussels; the development, administrative, financial, logistic and communication offices are located in Vicenza; then there are the Strasbourg office, mainly dedicated to the Mediterranean area (North Africa) and to relations with France, the office of Subotica (Serbia) which deals with the Balkan area and the Skopje office (Macedonia), a branch of ALDA.

• What makes you a centre of European excellence?

We are undoubtedly one of the most important stakeholders in the field of local democracy, active citizenship and cooperation between local authorities and civil society. We also have a very developed network throughout Europe.

• What kind of partners do you work with?

We collaborate with European institutions, local authorities, non-profit organizations.

• How long have you been welcoming trainees? In which areas? From which country have you welcomed so far?

For such a long time! I do not remember accurately but at least for 10 years.
So far we have welcomed many trainees, mainly Spaniards and Germans, in the administrative / financial area and also one in the communication office.

• Which are the tasks assigned to them? What can a trainee learn from you?

With regard to the financial / administrative department, the trainee usually joins the accounting colleague carrying out the following tasks: inserting and filing invoices, support in financial reporting of projects, accounting of banks, secretarial activities.
Here, a trainee can learn a lot: flexibility, autonomy, meeting deadlines, team work, multitasking. Fundamental skills that will then help him/her to juggle the world of work.

• How do you organize the placement and the “follow-up” of the trainee?

Usually the first day we provide the trainee with a general overview about who we are and what we do. Then he is trained by an expert colleague in the field and he/she is assigned the first simple tasks. Generally, there is always a supervisor and a couple of briefings are made too. We work single shift, with a short lunch break that most of the time the trainee spends in the office with other colleagues.

• How do the other colleagues react to the trainee? How do you get on with trainees from Europe?

Relationships with colleagues are always good and in some cases the trainees have offered input on certain topics that have proved to be interesting and useful for us. They are obviously a bit inexperienced as regards the organization of work, but they know how to use all the necessary IT tools very well. Overall, therefore, we have always had very positive experiences with European trainees. For young trainees in Vicenza the international and very informal environment of ALDA is often considered an incredible opportunity for personal and professional growth … in a funny context!

• Does your staff speak English? Do you think it is possible to organize traineeships only in English at your association?

We all speak English (also French and some Spanish), a fundamental language to communicate with our European colleagues and partners. It is therefore absolutely possible to organize traineeships only in English at our association.

• Tell us something funny that happened to you!

As I have already said, the experiences have always been positive, but one particularly impressed me. Last year, a trainee wrote for each of us a personalized phrase on a note that he then gave to us at the end of his traineeship. It was a very nice and appreciated gift!

Interview: Federica Perazzolo, Eurocultura



Niko from Koblenz

From Koblenz to Vicenza: our participant Niko is here to improve his international and professional skills in the field of metal working. Viel Glück!

#erasmuseurocultura #learningmobility #mobilitymadeinItaly

@hwk.weiterbildung @mobilitaetsberatung


Beauty and well-being in the heart of Vicenza

Today we talk with Monica Borin, manager and technical director of Oasi Rejuve, a medical beauty center in the heart of Vicenza.

• What does your company do?
Oasi Rejuve is a beauty and wellness center specializing in facial, body and permanent depilation treatments. It is part of Biotec Italia S.r.l., a company located in Dueville (VI), which has been operating for about 20 years in the production of medical and aesthetic technologies.

• How many employees do you have?
In the beauty center of Vicenza we are 3, but if we take into consideration also the Dueville headquarters we get to 40 employees.

• What are your areas of excellence?
What differentiates us is certainly the uniqueness of our treatments performed using the latest technologies such as, for example, diode laser, radiofrequency, microdermabrasion…

• What kind of customers do you have?
Our clientele is medium/high end. It is made up of around 70% of women and 30% of men. We also have about 10% of American customers.

• How long have you been welcoming trainees? In which areas? From which country have you welcomed so far? Would you possibly be available to welcome trainee in other areas?
We have been welcoming trainee as beauticians for a couple of years. In addition to the Italian ones we had, thanks to the collaboration with Eurocultura, girls from Spain and Poland. We would gladly welcome trainees in other areas, such as administration / reception or warehouse.

• Which are the tasks assigned to them? What can a trainee learn from you?
It depends on the abilities of the single person, however, usually at the beginning we entrust them with basic tasks, such as the arrangement of the cabins or assistance to the co-workers. They can also attend any treatment and receive all the explanations they need. As they become more familiar with the use of the equipment we give them the opportunity to carry out whole treatments independently, which are offered as a gift to the customers.
In our center we do not provide basic aesthetic treatments (wax, pedicure, manicure), but innovative treatments with constantly updated technologies. Trainees therefore have the opportunity to learn how to use technologically advanced machinery that training schools often do not have. Moreover, they sometimes take part in specialization courses, obtaining certificates that can also be spent in their country.

• How do you get on with trainees from Europe? How do the company’s employees react to the trainee? And the customers?
Overall we have always had good experiences with European trainees and in general we consider their presence an enrichment. For the employees, the
trainee is always a very appreciated aid. He/she is treated equally and there is therefore a relaxed and informal atmosphere that allows the establishment of excellent relationships.
Customers have always reacted positively to the trainees too, and in some cases they explicitly requested that the treatment was carried out by them.

• Does your staff speak English? Do you think it is possible to organize traineeships only in English at your company?
One of our employees speaks English very well, and more generally I can say that we have never had big problems from a linguistic point of view. In my opinion, it is therefore possible to organize traineeships only in English at our center.

• Tell us something funny that happened to you!
I do not remember an anecdote in particular but what I find nice is to meet all together during lunch or when we have some free time and have a chat, to get to know each other better and share our experiences. This is also important to settle in and feel comfortable in another country … and then some moments of relaxation every so often are necessary!

Interviewer: Federica Perazzolo, Eurocultura