Enhancing refugees’ self-reliance.
Submitted by: Tatiana Esposito, Director General
Email: [email protected]
Introduction to the project
INSIDE was a pilot project aiming at promoting 672 social labour inclusion paths for beneficiaries of international protection hosted in the SIPROIMI/SPRAR, and at strengthening the multilevel local network of subjects active in reception and labour policies. The project intended to enhance refugees’ self-reliance. This was done by fostering their social and labour-market inclusion and helping them to gain autonomy and self-sufficiency so as to meet their essential needs in a sustainable manner.
Employment is a key component of the inclusion process as it allows refugees transition faster and more effectively from uncertain conditions to socio-economic stability. Moreover, it is fundamental in the perspective of the refugees’ participation in the host society.
In order to guarantee the effectiveness of the project, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies included the different actors competent in social and labour inclusion policies in the development and implementation of the project, thus creating a governance model replicable beyond the project activities.
The main aim being to foster refugee inclusion in the fabric of society and ease the access of refugees to the labour market:
- Facilitating the acquisition of technical and linguistic competencies and the improvement of skills already acquired.
- Simplifying the acquisition of soft skills essential both in the work environment and in social contexts.
- Accelerating the development of self-reliance
- Improving inter-personal relationships.
The project was co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the national Migration Policies Fund, with a total amount of 4,500,000 euro.
A total grant of 5,500 euro was allocated for each integration path (2,000 euro for the employment services/job agency; 500 euro euro for the employer/company; 3,000 euro for the trainee).
The project was realized in collaboration with Anpal Servizi s.p.a., an in-house company of the national Agency for active labour policies, which has a long-standing competency in this field.
Main activities of the good practice
An individual integration plan was created for each participant, including a set of services intending to support the skills development and the search for job opportunities, facilitating labour matching (e.g. assessment of competencies, orientation, company coaching and scouting) was defined. Moreover, the integration path included a six-month traineeship in a company, selected by the job agencies according to the participant’s needs and the demand of the local labour market.
- Anpal Servizi s.p.a.
- Servizio centrale SIPROIMI – Sistema di protezione per titolari di protezione internazionale e minori stranieri non accompagnati/Protection system for beneficiaries of international protection and unaccompanied children (the former SPRAR)
How challenges were overcome
Some of the challenges encountered include:
- The necessity to carefully calibrate such a measure aimed at supporting the access to the labour market for significantly vulnerable persons, such as refugees. It is a tedious process. The multiplicity of competent actors involved created further complexity.
- Strengthening the local network between the public and private entities involved in the migrant social-labour inclusion process. This is mainly job agencies, companies and reception centres. According to the Italian legal framework, active labour market policies are mainly attributed to Regions.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Policies has since opted for the management of the project on the national, instead the territorial, level, and involved the actors competent in social labour inclusion policies.
The format of the project INSIDE specifically aimed at enhancing the local network between public and private entities involved in the migrants’ social and labour inclusion process, and creating a governance model to be maintained beyond the activities of the project. In this sense, a qualifying aspect of the project was the creation and consolidation of networks between employment services, as job agencies, and the managing bodies of SIPROIMI/SPRAR centres.
Results of the Good Practice
- Easing the access of refugees to the labour market.
- Fostering refugees’ inclusion in society.
The project was completed in 2016. Out of the 672 traineeships, 486 (74.4 per cent) were concluded. One year after the ending of the project, the employment rate of the participants was equal to 33 per cent. INSIDE has been included in the database of good practices in the area of labour market/social integration of refugees by the European Commission (DG EMPL). Considered its effectiveness, the model of INSIDE was replicated in the development of other measures, among which PUOI, that foresees 4,500 new social-labour inclusion paths.