Migration is an unstoppable and constantly evolving phenomenon, and every society has to deal with it by activating new trajectories of inclusion and integration.

In Italy, the “new migrants” face many difficulties for their labour and educational inclusion. The barriers are many and varied and society’s attitude is often insecure and unstable.

The narrative about new migrants is often simplistic: they are perceived and told as an anonymous crowd with general characteristics, which often leads to discrimination and exclusion especially in the labour market. Unfortunately, the lack of opportunities, existing barriers, rising unemployment and difficulties in finding employment increase the exposure to risks of exploitation in the informal labour market or in illegal activities.

While waiting for their regularisation, recent arrivals must also learn the language and understand how to move effectively in the Italian context.

All these risks are particularly accentuated in the case of women, unaccompanied minors and young people between the ages of 15 and 28. It is these categories, in fact, that have the highest unemployment rates.

We are convinced that the creation of spaces for real exchange, mentoring, relationships and sharing of ideas, knowledge and skills can be an important element that generates change.

“Mentors Make the Difference: Mentors for Integration” is a one-to-one mentoring programme that aims to connect young asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants with volunteer mentors from the local community. The project focuses on helping young migrants to develop skills and build a network of relationships to orientate themselves in the labor market.

  • 40 migrants, refugees and asylum seekers aged between 16 and 34
  • 40 volunteer mentors.

Project activities

The main activity of the project is a mentoring and tutoring programme for migrants. Mentoring, exchange and relationship with a person integrated into the social community, will help the beneficiaries to widen the local professional network and improve the skills needed to enter the labour market.

The mentor will support, for example, in writing CVs and cover letters, sending applications to interested companies, preparing for job interviews, creating a LinkedIn profile, practising professional vocabulary and developing soft skills. Mentors will be specially trained in order to provide personalised support and address the basic social and professional needs of migrants.

In addition, online and in-presence training sessions on key and transversal job-oriented skills will be held to enable effective integration of beneficiaries into the labour market.

Finally, meetings will be organised to foster intercultural dialogue, exchange of experiences and knowledge between beneficiaries and local communities.