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Italian cooperative Cometa helps adolescents with severely disrupted school careers to discover a new vocation, working with master artisans. Cometa’s training programmes pass on expert know-how, promote access to professional skills, and breathe new life into a declining sector.
Based in Como, Cometa is a social cooperative perpetuating a tradition reaching back to the Middle Ages: the workshop system enables apprentices to work under the supervision of a master artisan committed to passing on his theoretical and practical know-how, his culture, and way of life. Cometa apprentices are young people from vulnerable backgrounds, with disrupted school careers. Each receives a two-year training programme aimed at developing their technical artisan skills.
Five workshops focus on carpentry, restoration, decoration, furnishing fabrics and design. Theory classes alternate with hands-on workshops enabling students to work directly on objects destined for retail. The project develops their manual skills and reveals their creative potential. Apprentices gain genuine experience of high-value artisan work as a pathway to new careers, breathing new life into a high-potential sector as it pulls out of a period of decline.
The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès supports the project’s commitment to training and traditional artisan excellence, transmitting ancestral skills as vectors for new vocations, and access to work.
The project was selected for support by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès as part of the H³ programme: Head – heart – hand.