True, the mission of inter-professional funds such as Fondimpresa is to train and update employees who already have jobs. This in normal times. But today we are living in extraordinary times, in which we must prepare ourselves for the mother of all battles: fight the misalignment between supply and demand of work and guarantee those who lose their jobs skills that are worth hiring.
Aurelio Regina, president of Fondimpresa, the interprofessional fund of Confindustria with CGIL, CISL and UIL spoke. Trade unions and Viale dell’Astronomia are on different fronts when it comes to unlocking layoffs. But they come back to the same side when the topic becomes training.
Are Fondimpresa and inter-professional funds a candidate to play a role in active policies to help those who lose their jobs find a new one?
S. And we do it on the basis of a very specific experience. Last year we put up an experimental call for 5 million euros for courses promoted by companies interested in hiring unemployed people, as long as they had a specific set of skills. To be precise, 3.5 million were intended for layoffs and 1.5 million for unemployed. We then placed a constraint: the reimbursements would go to the companies only if at least 70% of the students had been hired for an indefinite period.
How did it end?
It worked. In the final balance, we have created 300 permanent jobs with an expense per worker of 6,800 euros.
Now would you like to systematize this project with the funds of the NRP for active policies?
Not exactly like that. Interprofessional funds are financed with 0.30% of the contributions against involuntary unemployment paid by companies. The Monti government introduced a compulsory levy in 2012. Fondimpresa, which alone is worth 50% of the sector, collects around 400 million a year but of these around sixty are retained by the state. Here, we ask that these funds be left to us. We would like to use them to reintegrate the unemployed into the world of work through useful training for companies.
How many unemployed could you relocate?
Given how things went last year, I think that as Fondimpresa we could find a permanent position for around 10 thousand people. Double if we consider the whole sector.
The competence on the professional training of the Regions. Coordination would be needed.
Touch a sore spot. When the government reopened to face-to-face training in companies, each regional administration introduced different rules, creating serious problems for the operation of the courses. To intervene by finding some form of harmonization that can no longer be postponed. I also believe that interprofessional funds should also be involved in the State-Regions Conference when it comes to training.
Active policies for the unemployed have been expected for years.
We await the intervention of the government. At this point it is urgent and necessary. A reorganization of the regulations concerning inter-professional funds would also be useful.
A new skills fund has been set up at Anpal that does a job very similar to yours: updating those who are already working. Do you compete with each other?
Not a question of competition but of coordination. The fund managed by Anpal but the inter-professional funds have an important know-how that should be put into the system. I believe that the same funds could apply to manage the new skills fund.
In the past, funds have struggled to spend all the resources at their disposal on training …
It took a while to get the car started. Now the problem no longer exists. On the contrary, we have enormous training needs. For the green transition alone between now and 2030, 5 million new people with ad hoc specializations will be needed. We want to help shape them. Even starting from those without work.