Directorate-General for Immigration and Integration Policies – Ministry of Labour and Social policies (Italy)
Ms. Stefania Congia, Head Office Div. II
The project is based on the provision of an individual integration plan, aimed at supporting unaccompanied minors and young migrants to gain self-sufficiency and access to the labour market.
Target VG and type of host community
The project aims at strengthening integration of unaccompanied minors, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young migrants arrived in the country as unaccompanied minor, especially in the light of preventing their social discrimination and the risk of exploitation.
Application setting: context
Unaccompanied minors who are not entitled to international protection can obtain a residence permit valid until the age of eighteen. Once turning 18, they are given the opportunity to remain in Italy only if they have undertaken a career or educational path (with the issuance of a residence permit for work or study purposes) or in consideration of their individual integration experiences.
- Legal status: More than 70% of the addressees resulted to be asylum and humanitarian protection seekers (36.7% and 33.6%, respectively).
- Gender specific: In line with the data on the arrival and permanence of unaccompanied foreign minors in Italy, almost the totality of the youngsters involved in the project (975 participants: 97.8%) was male, while only 21 were female.
- To promote integration of unaccompanied minors and young migrants in order to prevent the risk of exploitation, tackle social discrimination and help unaccompanied minors who have not claimed international protection gain lawful residence, once turning 18.
- To further develop the initial orientation with the aim to evaluate the youngsters’ competences in advance in a more careful and well-pondered way, so as to ensure that their learning path is tailored to their needs. This aspect is crucial as the recipients need to be prepared and be aware of the importance of the training path that they are about to carry out.
The project is based on the creation of an individual integration plan which include a set of integration services aimed at helping recipients access the labour market (tutoring, counselling, career guidance, job orientation) and giving them the opportunity of carrying out a 5-month internship in a private company. Main actions:
- Profiling and needs assessment
- Offering a personalized set of labour market services (tutoring, counselling, career guidance, job orientation, internship)
- Provision of an endowment to intermediary societies providing job orientation and labour market services (2,000.00 euros for each beneficiary); to enterprises for tutoring the internship activities (500.00 euros for 16 hours of tutoring); to beneficiaries for attending the internship (500.00 euros per month for a maximum of 2,500.00 euros).
- Job scouting, job searching, on-the-job coaching
So far, 1862 internships have been completed. Additional 170 internships have been started at the end of 2019 for a total amount of approximately 2000 internships.
Difficulties or constrains for its implementation
- the excessive strictness of the paths and the weekly commitment of the apprenticeship (especially in sectors such as bread-making and/or characterised by cycles, such as agriculture) resulted not to be consistent with the daily work routines and schedules; indeed, these aspects risk to affect negatively the youngsters’ overall training;
- the bureaucratic delays in the payments of the monthly allowance sometimes entailed the risk of withdrawing, besides generating in the apprentices a lack of trust and a sense of frustration.
- the brief duration of the apprenticeship resulted to be detrimental to a complete acquisition of the competences necessary to work in the host company.
- As for younger apprentices, the fact of completing the apprenticeship before turning 18 years old made it sometimes more difficult to continue their relationship with the company and to sign an employment contract.
- the tutoring resulted to be important, as it produced positive outcomes owing to the constant monitoring of the quality of the activities offered and the impact on the addressees’ motivation and on their general commitment;
- The stated confidence-based relationships with the tutors undoubtedly affected the addressees’ experiences and evaluations; in particular, the company tutor resulted to be very present in guiding and training the youngsters, in placing them in the organisational units and in supporting the development of solid and positive human relationships. Moreover, the tutoring resulted to be important for helping youngsters develop the ability to read and understand the operational and professional contexts, thus to carry out independent analysis and problem solving.
- the intervention enabled a virtuous consolidation of the territorial services network working on the social and professional integration of vulnerable subjects; the involvement of authorised and accredited actors in labour services enabled to develop new territorial operational fields; however, these need to identify a specific qualification regarding disadvantage and vulnerability connected to the migratory condition;
- the overall chain of services resulted to be significant and adequate to the addressees’ needs and the activities required for managing the personalised paths; the request is to provide for additional services strengthening social integration, in particular through measures enhancing Italian language learning and independent housing;
- the presence of minors with multiple vulnerabilities (from a psychological point of view) raised particular interest, as their care required multidisciplinary and multi-actor processes; it is advisable to involve type B social cooperatives in the process;
- In general, youngsters showed a high level of awareness and the ability to focus their attention on the themes proposed in the interview. Comparing them with their peers (especially belonging to the reception community), they were aware of the fact that their participation in the project allowed them to put themselves to the test, learn a job, have a more optimistic outlook, reduce fears and anxieties.
Employers complained about the scarce knowledge of Italian, especially at the beginning, as in some cases this hindered communication and the possibility to understand and interiorise jargon, mansions and technical instructions; nonetheless, the relational and work context, the fact of belonging to a professional community, the relationship with colleagues and tutors helped youths get a good command of Italian. Sporadic misunderstandings were reported mainly for cultural reasons and related to the difficulty of understanding the trainees’ competences and the wrong interpretation of operational rules.
Finally, the knowledge of and integration with the study offer of CPIA (Provincial Centres for Adult Education) and training providers were not satisfactory. These institutions seemed incapable of satisfying the need to strengthen linguistic competences and obtain secondary education and vocational qualifications, necessary to increase employability and to access several active policy measures.
Some of the limits and criticalities emerged – especially concerning the heterogeneity of the interventions implemented – were clearly determined by concomitant causes pertaining both to the social capital of the different territories and the specificities of the target population.
Year and length (duration)
2016 – 2019
CRITERIA actors or stakeholder are using to assess them as a “good practice”
- Better Italian language skills and acquired knowledge on the economic system and on the organization of work in the host country.
- The delivery of an endowment to companies which tutored the training activities has played a positive role in persuading the private sector to carry out on-the-job trainings in favour of a vulnerable target.
- Offer of personalized services to define shared objectives.
- Relationship between intermediary services/ bodies (responsible for defining the individual integration plans) and the recipient.
- The monitoring activities, analysis and evaluation of project results have been conducted by using multiple tools such as interviews, company visits and focus groups.