On March 21-23, 2018, the TALENTS (“New Talents for Companies – Developing the potentials of immigrants and refugees”) Erasmus+ KA2 project partners met in Florence to talk about their progress and practical experiences with pilot initiatives with a fast-track model for integration of migrants, and to work together in the intellectual outputs they are producing. The meeting was organised by the University of Florence and was divided in two parts: a peer-learning activity and the project partners’ discussion.
On the first day, a visit was organised to Borgo San Lorenzo, during which partner representatives got to know the facilities of Associazione Progetto Accoglienza, a non‑profit organisation that supports refugee integration in Italy. In the afternoon, representatives of the hosting association together with Cooperativa Il Cenacolo and Caritas presented their views and experiences with the SPRAR (Italian Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees) program for a successful integration in the labour market. This event allowed project partner representatives to share their know‑how, needs and perspectives with local organisations in Italy, focusing on the regional/local level and the European policy framework.
During the second and third days of the meeting, partner representatives gathered at the University of Florence to take the TALENTS project forward to its next steps. Successful pilot experiences of a fast-track integration model based on language learning and labour market integration have already taken place in Norway, Sweden and Germany in the hospitality industry, as well as in the business administration and pedagogical staff sectors. The role of teachers, guidance counsellors and workplace instructors in the model is still under discussion, and a course is being developed for their training.
The University of Florence will carry out an academic study about the fast-track model outcomes and results based on the pilot experiences that are being developed by the project partners, and a TALENTS app is also under development for skills assessment and to foster participants’ engagement in the programme.
The next project meeting will take place in Graz (Austria) on October 25-26, 2018.