A new policy model is just the job in Italy’s Lombardy region

Italy, like the rest of the euro-zone, is emerging from a period of slow economic recovery, with high unemployment rates to match. The EU-funded ‘Dote Unica Lavoro’ project has implemented a new policy model in Lombardy to overcome challenges related to the labour market and get people back into employment.

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A public event to present ©Dote Unica Lavoro. A public event to present ©Dote Unica Lavoro.

" Dote Unica Lavoro is a new policy model bringing an innovative approach to employment and training policy in Italy. A unique, customised tool for jobseekers, the number of opportunities available has increased as a result of this initiative. "

Gianni Bocchieri, Director-General for Education, Training and Employment in Lombardy Region, Dote Unica Lavoro Project Coordinator

In 2013, following a period of slow economic recovery in Italy, the regional authorities in Lombardy decided to take a new approach to promoting access to employment for local jobseekers. This new form of direct, tailored support to recipients of aid aims to promote access to new areas of employment and improve workers’ opportunities in the job market.

This new policy model has proven successful so far with a total of 57 275 people starting a work experience by the end of the project’s first phase which ended in December 2015. The second phase is already being implemented for the next programming period.

Tailored support hits the target

The Dote Unica Lavoro project based its activities on the specific needs and characteristics of each job candidate, matching each jobseeker with the most relevant accredited employment agency available and the most appropriate level of support. This was complemented by a focus on constant engagement with, and feedback from, all actors throughout the process, including active employers and social partners.

Each jobseeker’s needs were measured based on their specific personal situation, including indicators such as employment status, level of education, gender, age, and distance from the job market. However, once they were matched with the relevant agency, the latter had the flexibility and freedom to operate within its assigned budget threshold. This threshold was re-evaluated on a regular basis according to the agency’s performance in terms of the efficiency and effectiveness of their placements. A good performance resulted in an increased budget.

Results-oriented strategy

The budget threshold was not the only results-oriented aspect of the project, as placement services were only reimbursed upon successful job placements for each jobseeker. Therefore, payment of the training services was partly conditional on achieving employment results. Furthermore, the project monitored the initiative continuously in terms of financial and physical progress and results — ensuring the strategy remained on track.

The competitive cooperation system between public and private employment agencies, pioneered by Dote Unica Lavoro, has proven effective in tackling the region’s employment needs in terms of engaging with a wide range of recipients and safeguarding those most affected by the crisis. 

Thanks to the initiative, 70 607 people in Lombardy had access to training, assistance, support and advice on getting into the labour market, out of which 57 275 started a work experience.

Total investment and EU funding 

Total investment for the project “DOTE UNICA LAVORO” is EUR 61 624 808, through the European Social Fund Regional Operational Programme (ESF ROP) 2007-2013 of Lombardy Region, with the EU’s European Social Fund contributing EUR 26 103 095.

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