LAB Meeting Turin 2015

The second Italian LAB meeting took place at the premises of one of the stakeholders involved at a later stage, MagazziniOZ on 9th December 2015. MagazziniOZ is a newly created actor in the field of social inclusion of young people in Torino that joined the project after its start. We chose to hold the meeting in their premises to raise awareness on this reality among researchers and representatives from key stakeholders in the fields of youth employment, household poverty and school-to-work transitions in the metropolitan area of Torino.

This second meeting, like the first, involved an engaging and wide-ranging discussion. The main goal of the meeting was to discuss and share ideas about young people’s strategies around employment, constrains and opportunities in Italy, at the local and the national levels.

We discussed three main questions:
Is any job always better than no job (unemployment or non employment)?
Are there, and which ones could there be, any strategies for your people to pursue on the labour market for achieving “good jobs” in the long run?
And, under which circumstances do young people receive economic support from their parents when unemployed?

After a short round of presentations, the discussion was structured along the three questions, with a focus on the responses to the tightening of labour markets under the economic crisis, and the outcomes of Youth Guarantee and the recent Jobs Act Law in Italy.

The stakeholders stressed again how the most vulnerable group appear to be the low-educated young adults with no specific skills, and with little support from their families of origin. They also highlight how the strong competition among the unemployed, under the current economic crisis and increasing labour market deregulation, encourages young people to accept -or to stick to- unskilled and poorly paid (or unpaid) jobs. These ‘jobs’ might turn into long-term traps that do not provide any of the aspired opportunities for growth or job mobility, but exploitation. This is consistent with what emerges from the analyses made for task 2. It thus becomes crucial the counselling and orientation role being played by schools or agencies (when families cannot provide adequate guidance), while policies should actively intervene on labour market orientation and insertion.

Main issues of debate

Vulnerable groups

The Italian LABs in Torino confirmed the existence of traditionally vulnerable groups with regard to labour market policies, i.e. people with a more difficult access to the labour market. As of now, existing labour market policies fail to increase the participation of these vulnerable groups. Those perceived as the most vulnerable groups are young people above the age of 30 (the effect of age is perceived structuring increasing needs for both income and social acknowledgement through employment), low-educated, those living in jobless households, the NEETs, single mothers and prospective self-employed.

The role and efficacy of the educational system

To our surprise (and similar to the French case – see STYLE-D4.1-Country-Report-France), these stakeholders share a critical view on the role and efficacy of the educational system, perceived as inadequate with respect to the increasing challenges of current welfare retrenchment and liberalisation of the labour markets. This leaves young people unprepared to take up individual responsibility to grant by themselves their own future and welfare. The focus was on the responsibility of the –increasing under financed and understaffed – educational system rather than on, we would have expected, the increasing lack of employment opportunities in the labour market, or the scant (or absent) entitlement to income protection for young workers increasingly exposed to temporary jobs.

The role of the families of origin

Families of origin can support young people only if they have accumulated wealth and resources (marketisation of opportunities & resources), which may segment young people’s opportunities also along the lines of their attitudes and beliefs (affording capacities, or “easy-lazy track”). LABs in Torino emphasized that family support is a crucial factor that, to a greater of lesser extent, but significantly, can dampen or filter the negative effects of unemployment on young people’s living conditions and future prospects.

Strategies and opportunities in the labour market

From the discussion it emerged that bad jobs are often being perceived (nevertheless) by young people as an opportunity to entry the labor market, even when they don’t pay a salary (but provide experience for future interviews). Furthermore, there is a widespread belief among competing job seekers that “if I do not take up a job offer, for how bad it can be, someone else will be ready to take it instead” in an adverse competition towards worsening employment conditions (often competing for poorly paid jobs, sometimes in the informal economy, often short term and under-qualified).

Policy implications

Accompaniment measures are being suggested as a key measure to be implemented, especially those that help elaborating difficult experiences and acknowledge one’s capacities (e.g. negotiate better conditions, search for a job change, prefer a longer wait for a better job opportunity, acknowledge the value of negative search/work experiences, etc.). These opportunities are now scattered (increasingly offered but sparse and often not reaching their target audience), while might prove the most effective.

Participants:

University of Turin (hosting partner)

Tiziana Nazio, Marianna Filandri, Nicola Negri, Valentina Goglio

Valentina Goglio contributes to the H2020 project EXCEPT “Social Exclusion of Youth in Europe: Cumulative Disadvantage, Coping Strategies, Effective Policies and Transfer,” started on May 2015

Impresa Sociale Ouverture (NGO – www.ouverturetorino.org)

Giorgio Merlo, member of Ouverture & formerly head of Social Policies for the Province of Turin

Renzo Crivellaro, member of Ouverture & partner of Azimut (www.azimut.it)

GiOC – Gioventù Operaia Cristiana (NGO – www.gioc.org)

Valentina Marangon, Treasurer & spoke

Eleonora De Leo, Chair

Ufficio Pio della Compagnia di San Paolo (www.ufficiopio.it)

Luciano Sciascia, Scouting Enterprises

MagazziniOz (NGO – www.magazzinioz.it)

Carla Chiarla, Coordinator

 

The first LAB meeting is reported here: https://www.style-research.eu/2015/02/lab-meeting-at-the-university-of-turin/