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Labour and humanitarian crises demand response in Italy

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The Community of Sant’Egidio and the Italian government have created labour corridors in response to a labour shortage and humanitarian crises.

About 300 migrants coming from Lebanon, Ethiopia or Ivory Coast will be able to enter Italy, a country in need of more workers.

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“It is a request that comes from Italian society. We know how much Italy needs manpower, especially in some categories,” said Massimiliano Signifredi, member of the Community of Sant’Egidio.

“I believe that in the personal care sector there is a deficit of 40,000 nurses in the Italian healthcare system.”

Among the jobs with the greatest labour shortages are also industrial jobs. This is the possible solution proposed by Sant’Egidio.

“How do we respond to this need? By moving away from the logic that says that by allowing a migrant to enter the country we are doing him/her a favour.

“In reality, we know that societies that have been built as host societies have benefited. The United States is a society of migrants and the richest country in the world.”

Being part of this program is not easy: you need to speak Italian, have training in the fields in which you will work and be linked to a Sant’Egidio centre in your country of origin.

For this community, the integration of newcomers is a priority. Language and cultural or religious differences are factors that affect this process.

“We live in a globalized world in which we are used to living together with people of different religions, sometimes without any religion at all,” Massimiliano explained.

“We unite around human values and, above all, by doing a good job and showing that integration is possible.

“We create virtuous societies in which we can live well together and show how Europe is not only a place of rights, but also of strong integration.”

Sant’Egidio’s humanitarian corridors have managed the entry of 7,000 migrants in Italy, Andorra and Belgium. This new pilot program will start with 300 people but is expected to grow in the future.

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