About this good practice
This initiative aimed to provide training and support to refugees residing in second-level SPAR/SAI reception centers in Brindisi, Italy. These refugees, legal immigrants with permission to work, exhibit greater stability and a long-term commitment to Italy, including language acquisition and the potential for Italian citizenship. The program's goal was to empower refugees with professional skills, boosting their prospects for legal employment or entrepreneurship.
This strategy helps refugees transition to self-sufficiency, reducing the risk of exploitation in agriculture or involvement in criminal activities. An underutilized site on the outskirts of Brindisi, formerly confiscated from organized crime, was repurposed to establish a second-level reception center for refugees and a carpentry training facility. The Municipality of Brindisi partnered with three NGOs, which won a tender to manage and implement these activities. Their efforts included selecting and profiling trainees, evaluating applications, offering safety and carpentry training, and fostering literacy in the Italian language.
The program also involved practical carpentry training and created a database of local enterprises interested in hiring the migrants. Additionally, tutoring and mentorship activities were provided to enhance refugees' employability, equipping them with skills such as CV preparation and interview techniques, as well as insights into social enterprises.
€ 67.197,60 from the REINSER project (Interreg Adrion 2014/2020), that is public funds and it included costs for for personnel cultural mediators, carpenter trainers, experts for business tutoring, expert trainers on safety at work, etc), materials (row wood), and utilities (electric energy).
Evidence of success
- 10 migrants and refugees were trained and mentored, out of which 8 have already received job offers from local enterprises in the field of carpentry and woodworking;
- A database of over 90 SMEs was created to serve as a potential stakeholder contact for future similar activities;
- Several kind of urban furnitures (benches, chairs, childres houses for playground etc.) were created using recylced wood in order also to teach the importance of circual economy
Potential for learning or transfer
This activity aims to empower refugees in Brindisi's second-level reception centers by providing training and support for labor market integration and social inclusion. It serves as an inspiring model for public authorities by:
- Advancing economic integration through skill development.
- Reducing social vulnerability and reliance on informal labor.
- Fostering entrepreneurship and job creation among refugees.
- Promoting social inclusion, language acquisition, and civic engagement.
- Minimizing the risk of labor exploitation.
- Encouraging cross-sectoral collaborations for comprehensive refugee integration.
In summary, this practice illustrates how targeted training and support can empower refugees, enhancing their prospects for employment and entrepreneurship. It serves as a model for public authorities to create policies that promote economic integration, reduce vulnerability, and foster social inclusion among refugee populations.