Supporting students in Italy to build tomorrow’s leaders

ABB’s long-standing partnership with non-profit Junior Achievement in Italy equips younger generations for the future by preparing them for entrepreneurship in the digital age.

ABB is strengthening the Italian school system by providing students with a valuable opportunity to develop entrepreneurial and digital skills through real-world experiences. ABB has supported Junior Achievement (JA), a global non-profit organization that promotes economic-entrepreneurial education in schools, since its inception in Italy in 2002. Under this partnership, ABB employees have volunteered to mentor students to help them hone important skills for the future workforce, in line with the European Commission’s aim to promote entrepreneurial education.

Ahead of the G20 summit, scheduled for later this month in Rome, ABB participated in an event titled “Generation-E. Inspiring Youth Through Entrepreneurship Education” at the G20 Education and Labor Ministerial Meeting in June. The event, organized by JA Italy in collaboration with JA Worldwide, saw representatives from companies, institutions and the school system discussing the importance of entrepreneurship education in preparing young generations for the future to foster the country’s economic recovery.

Technological disruptions over the last few years and unforeseen crises like the COVID-19 pandemic are constantly reshaping the way we work, highlighting the importance of being prepared for the future. Through the collaboration with JA, ABB is helping to equip students for a rapidly changing world, bridging the gap between the skills they are taught in school and those needed for future jobs. With more than 300,000 jobs lost in Italy[i] since the beginning of the pandemic, programs like these can fuel job creation and economic growth through entrepreneurship.

As volunteers in this initiative, also known as “dream coaches,” ABB employees support students in their entrepreneurial projects by sharing knowledge based on their real-world experiences and enabling the students to navigate through practical corporate processes. Coaches and students work on specific skills like collaborating in a team, problem solving, managing a project, building a business plan and integrating financial analysis. These skills are instrumental in creating success in professional roles and in building future enterprises. This year, over 50 ABB volunteers supported JA classes, covering more than 1,000 students in secondary schools all over the country.

To further develop digital skills among students, ABB and JA Italy established an award called “Industry 4.0,” which recognizes projects that are characterized by entrepreneurship, digitalization and sustainability. More than 40 projects were submitted for the award, which marked its fourth edition this year. The winning team got the opportunity to visit ABB’s Robotics Center in Milan, receiving hands-on experience with collaborative robotics and programming.

JA has supported students across the world for more than 100 years and in Italy, where ABB has been a steadfast partner, for nearly two decades. This partnership builds on ABB’s strong tradition of providing educational support to the youth. ABB has partnered with hundreds of universities and schools around the world to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. ABB also has several initiatives in place to promote young talent and encourage female students to participate in technical fields, building the next generation of leaders.

In recent years, an average of 200 students and recent graduates have carried out internships at ABB in Italy and a significant number each year join the company.

For more on how ABB is working with partners and communities to support the innovators of tomorrow, please visit our Diversity and Inclusion page.

[i] Report by Reuters

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About the author

Eliana Baruffi

I’m corporate communications manager for ABB in Italy. Passionate in communications, I work with a team of enthusiast professionals that support business and corporate strategies with consolidated yet innovative communications approaches to the b2b market. Keyword? Integration!
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