Italy is supporting job creation by giving workers the skills needed to boost performance, innovation and competitiveness. As part of this drive, it is building stronger links between entrepreneurs, universities and graduates. The ESF is also supporting women and people from disadvantaged backgrounds to find work.
The ESF is supporting innovation and productivity among Italian workers and the country’s many successful SMEs. Better education and new skills are the key to giving companies the employees who can design and build better, innovative products and services, and export these to the world. ESF projects are fostering better links between universities and businesses by supporting postgraduate studies and industrial R&D. Young technology graduates and business people are sent abroad on placement – to Silicon Valley and across Europe – to bring back valuable know-how. And others are supported and trained in new ventures, such as renewable energy companies.
In the services sector, tourism workers for example are supported in improving their language skills, or cruise operators are helped to crew new ships with professional staff through ESF training courses.
In many projects, the ESF is protecting jobs and getting job-seekers back to work – some 2 million people have participated since 2007. Wage support for employers and childcare vouchers are helping the return to work of women with children. Immigrants in Turin are acquiring the language and professional skills they need to integrate better – such as in the hospitality sector. South Tyrol is using ESF funding to improve job prospects for isolated, mountainous communities and to retain young professional people. While, to support Italy’s famous musical tradition, over 150 young artists, performers and musicians from across Europe followed a course in the performing arts and were helped to find jobs in the creative sector.
The ESF is also strengthening the school education system in projects to substantially reduce the school drop-out rate and give young people the qualifications they need to succeed.