By City of Milan, Urban Economy and Employment – Employment and Training Area
Faced with an employment context which is still very critical for young people in the area, the City of Milan has continued to invest resources and launch actions on several fronts, some of which specifically target the young workless, while others aim to foster employability or to create an environment which may prove especially favorable to the development of youth enterprise.
Career guidance and job-search strategies
In addition to traditional services (i.e. career guidance, cv preparation. interview support, etc.) available in one-stop shops distributed across the city, other initiatives have been launched. Among these are:
– “Web 2.0 JobSeekers” workshops giving practical advice for an active job search in line with the most current ICTs (e.g. how to add value to one’s profile on social networks, etc.)
– Job Clubs, i.e. free groups of people supported by a facilitator, meeting at regular intervals for mutual support in job searching (meetings take place in City of Milan premises or in coworking spaces, in spaces provided by counseling services, or in employment agencies or in trade-union premises)
– Development of communication tools suitable for a young audience (e.g. a dynamic site providing just-in-time services, a FB page, a YouTube Channel).
Training to improve employability
Each year around 10,000 citizens, 4,200 of whom in the 18-34 age group, benefit from the City Administration’s investment in training. There is a real commitment to training and learning as an active employment policy, one which is not only pursued in the City of Milan’s own learning centers, but also by supporting third party-run training. Indeed, modules and courses are always devised and designed with an eye on facilitating integration and reintegration into the labor market.
In addition, to encourage entrepreneurial experience, in some centers and within the context of specific courses, students are encouraged, and given adequate time, to set up businesses, which are self-sufficient prior to being launched on the market. Free resources are available and staff in the centers offer support and advice in business planning, brand and product development, identification of marketing strategies, and in seeking partnerships and synergies to enable students to put together a suitable portfolio.
Supporting the most vulnerable in the labor market
One of the City’s Learning Centers (Fleming Learning Center), also accredited as a provider of employment services by the Lombardy Region, offers specific services for the long-term unemployed and organizes tailor-made training pathways, responding directly to specific requests from companies. Formal partnership agreements with employers are constantly developed, these being the pivot on which training revolves.
In this virtuous link between the unemployed and businesses, the Center plays a facilitating role working closely with other services provided by the City of Milan (i.e. the Social Services and Labor Policies divisions and connected services – e.g. drop-in centers) to share and coordinate information; to ensure a swift intervention, etc. Beneficiaries of this service come directly to the Center or are reached through a variety of channels.
Fostering economic development
To reduce the risk of social exclusion and give young people a first chance (i.e. a training course, an internship or a first contact with the world of work) the City of Milan has chosen to concentrate on innovation, a natural choice, given the high concentration of companies, universities and maker spaces in the area. The measures invested in by focusing on innovation, accelerators, incubators, fab-labs, coworking and maker spaces address youth unemployment and help create new jobs for the future, as, in terms of demographics, it is the young who are more open to innovation, both social and digital, and to new forms of work.
With the help of social partners and the area’s main players (Chamber of Commerce, Universities, etc.), the City of Milan has actively supported the growth of new businesses in sectors which are innovative and/or of special relevance for the area (i.e. design, creativity, fashion). Of the various action models adopted, the following are some examples:
- the endorsement of projects in partnership with universities, research institutions, associations, and/or private companies to enhance the value of joint working and of pooling resources to raise major investment in issues of common interest (such as mobility, environmental sustainability, social innovation, etc.);
- the economic contribution to incubators (e.g. PoliHub, the result of collaboration between Politecnico, Fondazione Politecnico and Comune di Milano, supporting innovative startups in different fields – e.g. green economy, new media, industrial design, etc.) bringing about a cross-fertilization of technology and creativity);
- the provision of rent-free space to support new businesses (e.g. Speed MiUp, a business incubator for 20 startups with young professionals available, to help focus on business and management skills development);
- the membership of relevant associations and foundations (e.g. Fondazione Politecnico di Milano, which works to develop startup high-technology businesses, through managing the business incubator unit of the Politecnico di Milano; and by working on the creation of joint research projects at European level).