Since end of February 2020, MILE activities “on the field” – including training and work placements – have been stopped, following the Covid-19 outbreak and the lockdown in the various EU countries.
This has unfortunately impacted greatly on the migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who were already taking part in the project. As with (and possibly even more than) other vulnerable groups of the population, the Covid-19 affected them the greatest.
See for instance: https://ec.europa.eu/migrant-integration/news/covid-19s-impact-on-migrant-communities.
Therefore, the MILE partners kept on working with them, and even increase their one-to-one support to each of the participant, also during the months of the lockdown and they will do so up until the group and/or face-to-face activities can fully resume in each country.
In Milan, ICEI has been having short weekly tutoring session by phone each participant, to discuss together their situation and any issue or need, and explore how to adjust their plans to the lock down and post-lockdown phases. This was also in view of the regularisation process of the status of some groups of third-country nationals that the Italian government has put in place in June (see here for more information).
At the same time:
- A group of beneficiaries managed to complete via e-learning their technical training, delivered by EMIT Feltrinelli. Moreover, they completed an on-line soft skills development programme specially designed and delivered by AFOLMET.
- Another group of beneficiary is being supported by AFOLMET on a one-to-one basis, to go more in depth in the assessment of their skills and experiences, as well as their professional goals, and to learn tools, channels and competences for an active job seeking
- One migrant managed to complete her work placement by working remotely from home.
Moreover, now that business activities are coming back to some kind of normal, two of the participants who completed their work placement are collaborating on a part time/free-lance basis with the company that hosted their traineeship. While those who attended the technical training delivered by EMIT are now collaborating with EMIT itself as translators/interpreter for a short-term small-sized project that EMIT is carrying out with some schools in Milan.
In Barcelona, Foundation Action Against Hunger has been supporting their beneficiaries via both one-to-one individual sessions, to go more in depth in the assessment of their skills and experiences, as well as their professional goals, and activities in small groups via skype, phone, email, whatsapp, etc., sharing material specially adapted to the situation and conducting training modules on various softs skills, as well as on tools, channels and competences for an active job seeking.
In Italy and Spain, moreover, activities with stakeholders have also been carried out on-line.
In particular, a meeting was organised at the start of May in Barcelona by Foundation Action Against Hunger and ACEDE, with the participation of about 30 public and private stakeholders (including employers) and a Webinar on “The integration of migrants in the labour market in the time of Covid-19” was carried out by ICEI at the start of July in Milan, with about 160 participants from the entire of the country. See here for more details.
Finally, MILE is also raising awareness about the contribution that third-country nationals have been bringing to the European economies and communities during the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as disseminating information on the Covid-19 to the same migrants, to help them in these difficult times.
For instance, partners are disseminating the note by the European Commission “Immigrant Key Workers: Their Contribution to Europe’s COVID-19 Response”, which highlights the contribution of migrant workers to the ongoing effort to keep basic services running in the Union during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the information that the Commission has collected on the outreach activities undergoing in EU countries, to make sure that migrants too have all have the information they need to stay healthy and follow quarantine guidelines.