Training: Success doesn’t come by chance

Six months ago the CGIL-Association for Education started a project to increase the willingness of young migrants of the Rhine-Main region to start an apprenticeship - a first analysis.

“The CGIL-Association for Education believes especially in bilingual events that inform and make the young people aware of the situation. It acts as a bridge between young people, their parents, schools, offices and enterprises. This way,“ says Franco Marincola, chairman of the CGIL-Association for Education “the young people get to know in time, which knowledge is indispensable to search successfully for an apprenticeship - like for example good knowledge of the German language and of mathematics. Further, they also get to know job areas, like the import-export sector with their country of origin, in which young, bilingual migrants have a good chance to find an apprenticeship.”

Since half a year the CGIL-Association for Education has been carrying out the project “Increasing the willingness of young migrants to undertake an apprenticeship” in Frankfurt a. M., in the city and district of Offenbach and the district of Main-Taurus. It is part of a seven stage project that is carried out within the context of the development partnership M.A.R.E. that stands for migration and work in the area of Rhine-Main. M.A.R.E. belongs to the EU-programme Equal.

The reason for this project is due to some alarming figures: at the beginning of the year 2001, 3500 young people in this region were registered as unemployed. Approximately 40 per cent did not have a German passport, specialists even estimate the rate of young people coming from a migrant background to be as high as 60 to 70 per cent.

“The results of the first six months show, that it is necessary to act which can also be seen from the level of response to the events” says Elisabetta Fortunato of the project leading team. “Around 190 young people, along with their parents and migrant representatives participated in the organized bilingual events. The main subjects were the information about the training-system and institutions and enterprises, that had presented themselves.”

Altogether 80 teachers from ten schools with a high rate of foreign pupils have actively discussed this project and are willing to join in and carry out information events for their pupils.

“The strength of the project is the co-operation with the environment” emphasizes Vicky Pompizzi of the leading team. “So we have spoken and arranged with 20 offices, chambers, trade unions, migrants representatives, private institutions for education and enterprises possibilities of co-operation for the whole duration of the project until summer 2005.”

In 2003 there will be a poster campaign with the message “training is worth it - also for you!”. To achieve a large widespread effect there will be talks to schools, migrants representatives and youth centres. Furthermore there are also audio plays and informational material in different languages in planning. Particularly clever is the idea to allow chosen international youth football teams to run onto the field in the second half of the season with a shirt advertising “training keeps fit”.

For young people coming from a migrant background an apprenticeship is perhaps even more important than for others of the same age. Because for them a job qualification means a first step to success in life – in a society, that doesn’t always realizes their needs. The project of CGIL-Association for Education is a step into the right direction.