Securing employment—performing a task, being productive—is by now a fundamental necessity of daily life. What to do, however, when work cannot be found even despite lowered expectations? The only solution is to emigrate, moving in search of new locations where one’s capacities and competencies are not only appreciated but valued. From the onset, this quest is fraught with obstacles. In fact, no agency exists in Italy specialized exclusively in offering the young and less-young the possibility of relocating to foreign cities efficiently and effectively. Many Italian and European recruiters have small departments dedicated to foreign placement, but they generally defer to their local subsidiaries responsible for locating work for residents. So, changing the suffix of an Internet search suffices to magically reveal job openings in the desired country. Furthermore, there is no shortage of blogs and websites providing information on what to do and what not to do in foreign countries, and which local recruiter websites to visit. The user is then guided to a close—and frequently exasperating—examination of the local immigration office’s array of requirements, problems finding housing, and finally which jobs can be pursued and which cannot.
Lastly, excluding equal opportunities and unpaid internships, one arrives at the European Job Mobility Portal (EURES), where the number of job offers (approximately 1,500,000 at the time of writing), the number of CVs (about 1,200,000), and the number of registered employers (32,000) is daunting; the available search filters are not impressive, but locating interesting openings and resumes is possible. However, after a bit of time searching the database, the jobseeker is left with the impression that there is no European focus as the site is configured as a huge collector of openings, which are often poorly indexed.
Employers, on the other hand, have little possibility of sifting through the myriad of CVs to find desired employees unless through rare strokes of luck. In this brief showcase of employment opportunities, it’s important to remember the large database of resumes available on Almalaurea or other similar consortiums dedicated to collecting information on new graduates.
What the market seems to be missing are specialists capable of matching international opportunities and Italian supplies of talent and labor. In other words, there exists no structured possibility of initiating a path that could efficiently lead job seekers willing to emigrate to actualize this necessity. Employment-motivated emigration, in all its complexity, deserves at least a distinction that involves the motives for emigration and the methods for doing so. Alongside those amenable to leaving Italy in order to realize their ambitions, there are also those willing to move to where employment is available for the sake of working and contributing to their own sustenance. Frequently the distinction in terms of motivation for emigration lays the foundation for the means and potentiality of finding foreign positions.
The first group frequently have possibilities of competing for jobs in the desired countries without assistance, while the second group needs support in terms of language training and relocating to an environment that may be similar but is often very different from the country of origin. While people actively seeking foreign employment are often capable of fighting for their desired jobs, those that are willing and able to leave can do little more than be satisfied with what they manage to find and tend to follow their friends, familiars or acquaintances who previously made the same decision. Current technology, however, can and must modify these aspects of reality. Today, identifying the right placement for the majority of people willing to make the move is possible, as well as creating valuable training and assimilation courses. The ability to provide personalized services results in not only an economic service, but also a human service. If the world progresses, if communication is globalized—along the same line of thought—then even employment and the infrastructure that regulates it must have a global virtue.
In any case, globalization includes everyone in its extensive etymology. A new agency proposing to aid young Italians in their search for foreign positions must necessarily be horizontal and cut through the unemployment universe. It must not make the error of thinking in terms of talent relocation; this expression gives a character of exceptionality: gifted young people incapable of affirming themselves in their home countries. The imagination runs immediately to images of Indian engineers, Armenian violinists, and Chinese chefs. In reality, talent has less need of assistance; their innate qualities shield them from competition. They need only to change country to find opportunities. At the highest level possible, Italian minds polished European courts during the Renaissance. Their talents, in fact, were unattainable, but political disintegration in Italy prevented their actualization.
Today, the situation is not very different: scientists, architects, artists and economists find work in the City, Wall Street and Asian capitals that yearn for better urban planning. The true problem is experienced by the multitude of less-famous professionals, no less noble and important. What to do for the Italian electricians who mastered their craft, surveyors graduated from prestigious schools, or for the best waiters in the world? How to help them if they don’t speak English or if they don’t know how to extricate themselves from the bureaucracy and labyrinth of employment websites? They need assistance inspired by public support and effected with efficiency, economy and profitability. The government—even across its territorial extensions—should promote the creation of agencies without pretending to mange them, otherwise they would burden the initiative. Private (well-managed) companies should tangibly help jobseekers secure employment, housing, and foreign residencies. Everything should be handled professionally, taking advantage of the web’s immense resources and market experience, while organizing language and marketing courses. Security and competence should prevail, avoiding dangerous tendencies toward illegal practices, abuse, or unfair hiring practices. Young Italians could emigrate confidently, leaving their homes and families with relatively less trepidation. This will surely excite objections.
Italy’s identity will invariably change; in particular its international image would deteriorate from a country of excellence to a labor reserve, from the appeal of “Made in Italy” to work far overseas. The negative stigma of emigrants’ remittance would resurface. The right response to this criticism lies in the dramatic nature of the costs: the cost of unemployment—especially among the young people in the south— does not concede hope. It’s better to set aside national rhetoric and memories of a past overwhelmed by crisis to concretely help those stricken by the crisis incapable of finding dignified employment.