Title OFTL Europe - Process of transferring the innovative aspects of the OFTL System
Project Number LLP-LDV/TOI/08/IT/548
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Unemployment must be foughten providing the social structure with new added values. This aim can be achieved only when enterprises, training organisations and manpower collaborate with common purposes. OFTL Europe is a transfer of innovation project aimed to improve integration strategies of local enterprises, training bodies and temporary employment agencies in order to permanently include the unemployed in the labour market.
The operative procedures already activated in the Italian background will be adjusted according to specific necessities of partner organisations and to their legal, social and economic backgrounds.
Through researches and testings of procedures it will be possible to identify some common guide lines to be transfered in other countries and to be used to validate the operative structure of the project at the European level.
In today's European labour market the procedures to match supply and demand are rarely codified and are often aleatory. At this stage, a legislative intervention of the Union on this matter has been required by different parties. The problems to tackle often concern: lack of availability of workers with professional skills that satisfy the requirements of companies; lack of guidance of the non employed and/or unemployed in the choice of the professional direction to take considering the local context; progressive lack of public funds for effective employment placement which is satisfactory for both worker and company.With these problems in mind our Centre in Verona (Italy) has conceived, tested, defined and modelized the OFTL® Orientamento-Formazione-Tirocinio-Lavoro system (Guidance – Training – Apprenticeship - Work), which has the purpose of overcoming temporary employment in favour of the employment of the unemployed. The purpose of OFTL EUROPE was to transfer OFTL®, an innovative Vocational Training system that offers “lifelong” Guidance, Training and Transition to Work support. Project Objectives were: the study in partner countries of the different legislative “feasibility conditions”, of the job market, career guidance systems, and employment assistance training; the study and selection of the innovative OFTL® elements that satisfy said requirements and their feasibility in the transfer process; testing of the OFTL® system in view of its integration, in terms of training procedures, in the bodies of partner countries; adaptation of the OFTL® system to the requirements and needs of the different partner countries.
The partnership was made up of partners from six European countries with a high level of expertise in the guidance and training field and many years of experience, some over twenty years, as regards taking part in and managing European projects.
The project addressed temporary workers, long-term unemployed people, workers on a mobility list, the disabled according to Law 68/99 and immigrants with a valid permit to stay in the country.
OFTL EUROPE has been divulged through an Operating Manual and CD ROM.
The results achieved by OFTL Europe has been supporting the creation of integrated guidance, training and employment systems that will allow people to acquire new know-how, update skills and above all become marketable in the labour market.
In the European labour market temporary work has acquired a position of increasing importance. With the arrival of new trends in the temping sector the overall number of temping workers and their extent compared to the total active population is increasing in most European countries. This increase must be however be examined together with other elements such as a high level of unemployment and a lack of qualified workers throughout Europe, a situation which has led to a need for increased flexibility as well as alternative forms of employment.
Various studies (source EURES, 2007) have shown how temporary jobs facilitate moments of transition in the labour market: mobility from one job to another, transition from unemployment to employment, introduction of young people into the job market. Temporary work also offers disadvantaged categories the opportunity to gain experience and offers people without a permanent job a way of avoiding the vicious circle of unemployment.
In today's European labour market the procedures to match supply and demand are rarely codified and are often aleatory as legislation on the matter is very different in each country. At this stage, a legislative intervention of the Union on this matter has been required by different parties.
The great differences found between the countries part of the partnership are a valid example of the situation: for example, in France the Agences de Travail Temporaire or Agences Intérinaire, cannot deal with permanent or long term jobs. In Greece, only a few temping agencies have obtained permission to carry out their activity (they are called Grafia Evrésseos Ergassías). In Italy the Agenzie interinali (temping agencies), later called “di somministrazione” and now called “Agenzie per il lavoro” (Employment agencies) have the task of accelerating and facilitating the procedures to match job supply and demand thus overcoming the bureaucracy of the old Employment Offices.
Forma. Temp, a fund for training temporary workers with a fixed-term contract, has been created for this purpose; it is a bilateral body established in the form of a free non profit association by associations representing the employment agencies, trade union organisations of temporary workers, and TUC (CGIL, CISL and UIL).
Forma.Temp was set up following the introduction into our legal system (with Law no. 196/1997 so called “Treu Law) of the supply of temporary work, at present identified by Law no. 30/2003 (so called “Biagi Law”) as supply of fixed-term work. Forma.Temp is funded by a contribution equal to 4% of the gross wage of a fixed-term temporary worker. For an improved management of the Forma. Temp Fund, the Employment Agencies have set up their own training agencies which have increasingly and with particular attention used the funds to train workers for jobs in companies. Said workers are usually initially employed with fixed term contracts, however they are increasingly employed with long term contracts or even open-ended contracts.
However, despite the fact that these transformations (not only legislative but also strategic-operational) have contributed to improve the employment assistance programmes for the non-employed, still today there are many problems to face alongside the problem of permanent employment of workers:
- lack of availability of workers with professional competences which meet the requirements of companies
- lack of guidance of the non employed and/or unemployed in the choice of the professional direction to take considering the local context
- progressive lack of public funds for effective employment which is satisfactory for both worker and company.
With these problems in mind the Istituto A. Provolo in Verona (Italy) has conceived, tested, defined and modelized the OFTL® Orientamento-Formazione-Tirocinio-Lavoro system (Guidance – Training – Apprenticeship - Work), which has the purpose of overcoming temporary employment in favour of the employment of the unemployed.
OFTL® has been implemented by networking Provincial employment Services, Employment Agencies and their Training Agencies, Companies (local, regional and national), and by preparing a common programme which, starting from the identification of a professional role, offers dedicated training to the people recruited who are motivated to learn that specific trade, wish to take on that professional role or have that job.
In this sense, OFTL® has satisfied the needs of the actors in the labour market and of the Employment Agencies which over the last few years have structured themselves to carry out the following activities:
- identify companies interested in recruiting personnel with different types of contracts (from the fixed term contract to the open ended one)
- contact, recruit, guide suitable candidates that meet business market demands, respecting the expectations and wishes of each individual.
The OFTL® guidelines are:
- meet the need of companies to find suitable professional figures with a good basic technical-scientific culture and adequate professional training, to add to their staff
- train and introduce into job different types of users though a personalised vocational training programme in line with the true needs of the job market
- meet the employability needs of different types of users that have a temporary and/or flexible job or are excluded from the job market
- optimise the use of financial resources by obtaining financing in particular for just in time training programmes that may lead to possible employment.
The OFTL® target group includes:
a) candidates for temporary jobs registered with Employment Agencies;
b) workers with a temporary job according to the limits foreseen by the collective contract between the parties as regards working hours, without prejudice to the legal limit;
c) people who have been unemployed for a long time, whose unemployment is certified by Public Employment Centres;
d) workers on mobility list;
e) the disabled according to Law 68/99 and immigrants living in Italy with a valid permit to stay in the country.
To contribute to Priority 2: Developing the quality and attractiveness of VET systems and practices (call for proposal 2008), OFTL EUROPE intends to favour “the support of the development of high quality vocational training and education programmes that provide assistance in the transition to employment and/or a progression towards secondary and further education as well as the promotion of guidance and consultancy services at all levels”.
The purpose of OFTL EUROPE was to transfer OFTL®, an innovative Vocational Training system that offers “lifelong” Guidance, Training and Transition to Work support.
The Project Objectives were:
- the study in partner countries of the different legislative “feasibility conditions”, of the job market, career guidance systems, and employment assistance training
- the study and selection of the innovative OFTL® elements aimed at satisfying said requirements and their feasibility in the transfer process
- testing of the OFTL® system in view of its integration, in terms of training procedures, in the bodies of partner countries
- adaptation of the OFTL® system to the requirements and needs of the different target groups and/or sectors and/or cultural contexts, until an EC patent is obtained;
- use of the OFTL® system in new sectors or with new target groups, including the transfer in public and private training structures.
OFTL EUROPE actions included:
1. RESEARCH (though a comparative study) into the “feasibility conditions” for the transfer of OFTL®; this will include methods to find financial resources, public/private network working methods, characteristics of job intermediation firms and types of “just in time” training.
The final step of this action will be the identification of the founding elements of the OFTL EUROPE network operational procedure.
2. TESTING through the implementation of the operational procedure called OFTL EUROPE; the partners shall plan one or more OFTL programmes and prepare the local network protocol for employment placement.
This action foresees the creation of OFTL Europe programmes (at transnational level) and the preparation of the local protocol to support the creation of OFTL Europe programmes.
3. Scientific VALIDATION of the OFTL EUROPE operational procedure tested in each partner country and of the jointly planned programmes.
The final step of this action will include the production of a Manual and CD ROM and the application for the patent for OFTL EUROPE for each partner country.
4. DISSEMINATION OF THE RESULTS; at European level this will be achieved through a transnational seminar for the presentation of OFTL EUROPE; in each partner country it will be achieved through a local seminar for the presentation of the results and CD ROM produced in the national language of the partner countries.
The final step of this action included the application for the EU patent for OFTL EUROPE.
Utilization and distribution of results
Recognition, transparency, certification
Access for disadvantaged
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Other Service Activities
Information and Communication
procedure for the analysis and prognosis of the vocational training requirement
OFTL Europe project provided to realize several mid-term and final products:
1) reasearch procedure, to be translated in all the partner languages. It will be used for providing partners and other beneficiaries with a research pattern to deepen the relation among labour market, training and employment agencies in different backgrounds.
2) project web site, used both to promote and disseminate the structure and the results of the project and to give project partners an on-line platform to discuss, exchange good practices and to up/download products and materials.
3) OFTL Europe manual, hard copy and CD-ROM: it will summarize the development of the project, taking in consideration all the partners' contributions, in order to have a pattern effective at European level. Since it will be translated in all the languages, each partner will use the manual to disseminate the project results in its specific context.