40 years accompanying young people to enhance their growth and employability

Visit of the European Commission and the Regional Ministry of Education to the Culinary School to learn about CIMTO and Itinerario+

Working in alliance with companies and public administration is in the DNA of Fundación Tomillo, because we know that only by working together can we offer life-changing opportunities to young people in vulnerable situations.

On Thursday 30 March, the European Commission, represented by Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, responsible for the European Way of Life, and Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, responsible for Employment and Social Rights, visited the Foundation’s Culinay School to see first-hand two of the projects with European funding:

  • CIMTO, the hospitality training programme for minors under the tutelage of the Community of Madrid and its digitalisation project.
  • Itinerario+, the socio-educational methodology applied in the Foundation and developed within the framework of PROA+ 21-23.

The visit of these two projects, financed by the Community of Madrid and supported by Next Generation funds, was also attended by the Vice-Minister for Education of the Community of Madrid, Rocío Albert, the Director General for Subsidised Education of the Community of Madrid, Jorge Elías, and Lucas González Ojeda, Acting Head of the European Commission Representation in Spain.

The visit allowed to know in first person, and in the mouth of the students themselves, the educational model of Tomillo both in the Culinary School as well as in the rest of the training courses that are taught in the centre of Albuñuelas.

The visit

The representatives of the European Commission and the Community of Madrid visited the school’s kitchens, where they had the opportunity to see how the students work not only on the more technical training related to the catering industry, but also on the personal and socio-emotional skills that allow them to believe in themselves again. It should be borne in mind that the students trained at Tomillo come from vulnerable backgrounds and in many cases have been expelled from the traditional academic system, so the first task of the teaching team is to make them believe in their potential again.

The Tomillo Foundation is part of the network of Second Chance Schools that work to offer opportunities to young people who have dropped out of the traditional education system.

After getting to know the cookers and the testimony of Amadou, a CIMTO student, the visit moved inside where, accompanied by Tomillo’s pedagogical coordinator, Andrea, a student of Basic Vocational Training (BVT) in Administration, and José Manuel, a student of BVT in Microcomputer Systems and Networks, explained how the project work and the life experiences included in the Itinerario+ socio-educational model work.

Precisely, Andrea is one of the students who this year, thanks to the European Commission programme, will carry out an Erasmus experience. Fundación Tomillo is one of the few centres in Spain with the accreditation that allows us to offer these exchange opportunities to vocational training students.

The visit also included a virtual reality experience, in which the Vice-President and the Commissioner of the European Commission had the opportunity to try out the virtual reality glasses, one of the materials financed through the Next Generation funds within the CIMTO digitalisation project; and a lunch outside the school served by the Foundation’s BVT Hospitality students.