Wednesday 1 February 2017
Facts, figures and more about the project “Making system beyond hospitality” (Part One)

The project Making system beyond Hospitality – social and work integration programs for foreigners and Italian young adults in social discomfort – is reaching already quite far in its activities, at only a year from its launch. Let’s take stock on the training aspects and on the employment integration.

The first phase of the activities, which provided vocational training and started the employment insertion in the provinces of Catania and Ragusa, was mainly carried out from June to December 2016. A total of 34 young people were trained: 16 in Catania (4 Italians and 12 foreigners) and 18 in Ragusa (3 Italians and 15 foreigners). In Catania, the young people have followed a 450-hour course for warehouseman with a final internship in various companies (wine, working ceramics, awnings and food businesses). In Ragusa, on the other hand, the boys took directly part to internships within various companies (agricultural, manufacturing marble, furniture construction, catering and bakery).

After the training phase including the internships and apprenticeships, the work tutoring started and these are results so far:

  • 2 were hired on a farm in Ragusa;
  • 3 will very soon be hired in a restaurant, in a bakery and in a social farm, all in Ragusa, thanks to the commitment of the Fo.Co. cooperative that followed them through the process (two of them are the protagonists of the video that has just been released);
  • 2 still have training going on in Ragusa, in a furniture construction and in a marble manufacturing companies;
  • 4, after their training, had their internship extended in a awnings company and a ceramics company in Catania and in a hardware store in Ragusa;
  • 8 are evaluating the various employment opportunities that will arise in the Italian regions, where we are building the network of families and companies that can support them.

In all this, it is clear that the protagonists are them, with their stories: not all are equal and, in the course of this pilot project, we are learning that actually each one of them is completely different form the other, and that we must offer help without imposing it. Some are not willing to move for work, either because they have decided to go back to school (on their own initiative or on suggestion of the community that receives them), or because they are inserted in a path of the Ministry of Justice that is not yet completed, or because they simply do not want to leave Sicily: the latter are mostly Italians, less willing to leave their homeland and their roots compared to young foreigners who, coming into Italy,  have already done this step.

In December one of the young men made a trial period in Incisa Valdarno (Florence), in a company of the Polo Lionello: the experience proved to be enriching both for him and for the company, and for the family that has welcomed him during the probation days, but at the end the young man chose to go to work as a tailor in Milan. This also happens in a project that involves firstly people, not just numbers; young migrants whose life changes from day to day, who have desires, willingness and maybe a migration plan that often includes the need for an income to support their families of origin at a distance.

As for the companies, we would like to enrich the national network more and more, also counting on the important partnership with the EOC and AIPEC. We are looking for companies willing to collaborate to offer these young people opportunities for professional learning and job placement.

After all, the desire of those who accompany them in this project is not to “place them” but to offer them advice, support, a reference point, a first short training and then a job opportunity, even if it’s up to them to choose a job and keep it. This moral accompaniment, as well as material, is what the families involved in the project also do, that is what a mother and a father would do for their children, supporting them with shelter until they are autonomous, and with their advice. But in the next article we will discuss it better.

Written by Valeria Lo Bello

(Photo: trainee involved in the warehouse of a company in Ragusa that exports Sicilian food specialities)

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