AECA was set up in 1973 under the initiative of a group of vocational training bodies jointly engaged in the promotion of training initiatives aimed at achieving a full-fledged development of individuals. Over the past thirty years, AECA (Associazione Emiliano Romagnola di Centri Autonomi di Formazione Professionale) has committed itself to the training of young people, adults, women, foreigners, disabled people, wishing to enhance their human and professional capabilities to increase their opportunities, skills, competitiveness and personal satisfaction in a professional environment.Today, this association encompasses as many as 15 vocational organisation – and 25 centres - many of which with a longstanding history. The AECA Centres are in constant and close contact with enterprises and they co-operate in a network that counts more than one thousand enterprises. Moreover AECA participates in complex projects, including integrated school-training university projects, as well as research and support initiatives for trainers’ training.

Since 1988, AECA has committed itself to promoting and carrying out transnational actions, thus establishing strong co-operation relationships with several partners throughout the European Union. The association believes in the value of co-operation as a way to plan and initiate activities and projects, through the sharing of innovative ideas, practices and results. This has clearly proved to be the right way, especially in the implementation of Community Programmes. These occasions have allowed AECA to make useful experiences and to establish long-lasting relations with the other partners, to plan and implement joint activities, with the local authorities’ involvement in the sharing of resources, means and tools, thus leading to the transfer of the best practices.

As the leader of 43 accredited bodies, AECA carries out activities in the VET regional sector relating to:

  • Promotion of youth policies;
  • Realization of intervention guidelines for VET providers;
  • Technical assistance and coordination of the activities of VET providers;
  • Management / monitoring / evaluation for VET providers;
  • Promotion and dissemination;
  • Accounting and financial reporting;

From 2011 to 2017 AECA managed the Pane e Internet project, financed by Regione Emilia-Romagna under programme Regional Digital Agenda, to develop citizens’ digital skills in order to guarantee a real digital citizenship. During 2014-2017, in cooperation with libraries, schools, and private associations, the project opened Pane e Internet Points, to offer to citizens free education to digital world. Region Emilia-Romagna recently approved Pane and Internet 2018/2020, that has the following objectives: to strenghten local and regional network, to integrate Pane e Internet with other Regional Digital Agenda projects, especially involving schools, to help citizens residing in areas with less digital services and connections or with less digital skills, and to publicize digital culture to promote technological awareness.


Contact person: Annalisa Lombardelli