Nearly 100 people took part in INCRESCENDO, INTERCEPT’s italian national event. Organised by Anci Toscana in Florence, on the 14th of November 2023 at MAD Murate Art District, the event was an occasion to discuss the results of the project and engage key actors in a debate on the most suitable schemes and tools to support young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) to access meaningful opportunities.
It brought together 39 different organisations (including all the INTERCEPT partners) from the public and private sectors in a peer-to-peer sharing and learning process:
- Municipalities were represented by the national and Tuscan branch of Anci and the cities of Florence with 2 local InfoPoints (for young people and women), Impruneta, Livorno, Lucca, Pisa, Pistoia, Pontassieve and Sesto Fiorentino;
- The regional and national authorities responsible for labour policies and services were represented by ARTI and the Region of Tuscany, the Employment Services of Croatia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia, the Ministry of Labour of Cyprus, Romania and Slovenia and the Ministry of Social Policies of Malta;
- The research and consulting sector included Polish CASE, German ICON INSTITUT, Maltese BEurope, Tuscan IRPET and Pluriversum;
- The education and training sector was represented by school 42 Firenze, Foundations Anpas Toscana Formazione, Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, Polo Universitario Grossetano, ITS Energia e Ambiente, Malta University and National School Support Services;
- Social cooperatives active in the field of employment and social services included Tuscan Cepiss, Cassiopea and Il Girasole, including the participation of young volunteers;
- The private sector was represented by Malta’s Chamber of SME.
The INTERCEPT project was presented by Roberto Scalacci (Tuscany Region), Antonio Buhagiar (Jobsplus, Maltese PES) and Indre Lauciené (Lithuanian PES).
The speakers explained the main objectives of the pilot project conducted in Tuscany, Malta, and Lithuania. The aim was to engage NEETs aged 25-29 in taking part in 25 hours green skills training followed by a 12-week internship in the green economy.
They also underlined the innovative elements of the project: firstly it only involved a specific age bracket of NEETs (25-29), thus addressing very specific needs for this target, and secondly it only focused on green economy and green job opportunities..
Roberto Scalacci also explained the importance of the project in the Tuscan territory, and especially in the agricultural sector, in facilitating the entry of youth in the green market. However, Scalacci also pointed out some project’s areas for improvement, such as the short duration of these internships for the Italian labour market. Both interns and the companies involved would have preferred a 6-month experience since 12-weeks don't allow the interns and the companies to get to know each other and the job well enough).
His speech was especially relevant for the Italian stakeholders that attended the event, as he presented the project as a good opportunity that could be better adjusted for the Tuscan territory.
Antonio Buhagiar, on the other hand, talked about the importance of the project in better understanding the NEETs targeted group and the green companies’ sector in Malta. Finally, Indre Lauciené explained why the project was strategic for Lithuania, as it allowed many NEETs to receive green skills training, and many companies to get advice to improve their green sectors.
The Speaker’s presentations highlighted, among other things, a great difference in the NEETs education’s level in the various countries. In Italy, the education level of the young participants is generally higher than in Lithuania and Malta.
During the presentation, partners also shared important data on project results: the project activated a total of 179 internships in the 3 countries and 79 interns got a job offer or embarked on a new training opportunity after taking part in the project - they resulted in being employed or active in the job market.
The comparison of the results shared by each territory was very interesting for the audience, who appreciated similarities and differences in NEETs conditions in the 3 countries. Moreover, the participants better understood good practices and valuable opportunities that could arise from European projects in general, and from this project specifically. Relevant synergies were identified with EU projects SMARTLY (Erasmus+) and atWork4NEETs (Interreg Europe), they were explored and discussed by the speakers and the public.
Finally, the project presentation was extremely relevant in adding value to the event, as it contributed to shape a better defined overview of NEETs and their condition, and to share good practices to increase youth skills and employability.
INTERCEPT has now reached its closing phase and the pilot project implemented in Italy, Malta and Lithuania is being evaluated to identify a common set of policy recommendations which will be presented during the final event in Brussels on Jan.17th 2024 (further details TBA soon).