The Rural4Learning project, promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Forestry and Tourism, financed with resources from the National Rural Network 2014-2020 and the RDPs of the partner regions, is aimed at encouraging the transfer of knowledge, experience and good practices in the field of rural development to students of agricultural institutes and universities in Italy.
The project, divided into two segments, "Rural4School" and "Rural4University", offers online training, field experience, guidance and advice on rural development, organic farming, multifunctionality and innovation in agriculture, giving a crucial role to the relationship "knowledge-innovation-productivity" and "sustainable research-development-saving of resources" with two focuses:
- linkage, interaction and complementarity between Education, Training and Employment;
- development of a Knowledge Society capable of enhancing rural heritage, bringing innovation and thinking about a more sustainable future.
Purpose of the project:
- communicate rural development and the opportunities of European funds to new generations;
- to provide interested Regions/PAs with a model for enhancing professional skills, based on cooperation between the education system and the world of work;
- to set up an online information system on the platform of the Rural Network www.rural4learning.it in order to deepen specific themes concerning rural development and the opportunities of RDPs and to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between young students and young entrepreneurs.
All this entails opportunities for interaction between the education system and the world of work (businesses and agricultural research bodies); guidance/consultancy for the launching of agricultural start-ups and for the development of new professions. The project offers the younger generations the opportunity to make concrete experiences of school work alternation in an economic context based on rurality and to acquire professional skills that can be spent in the labor market.
The activities carried out for the "Rural4Learning" by the Puglia Region are designed and implemented within the annual Communication Plans, with resources under Measure 20 of the RDP Puglia 2014-2020. The project was conceived, in fact, as an activity to support the communication and information initiatives provided by the Rural Development Programme 2014-20 (Reg. EU 1305/2013 Articles 14, 52, 54) proposing "ad hoc" tools for the exchange, discussion and dissemination of knowledge through the synergy between the education system and the world of production, to facilitate the circulation of information on issues related to rural development and the opportunities offered by the RDP, to raise awareness among young people on the value of agricultural and forestry heritage and, finally, on the possibility of contributing with specialist skills to make the agricultural sector attractive and competitive.