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Agenzia Nazionale Politiche Attive del Lavoro European Commission

Storytelling: "The mobility of ideas"

When we think about a project like “Your first EURES job”, our thoughts immediately go to the young people looking for a job; however, this project goes further than that. Besides being a job mobility program aimed at helping young EU citizens find a job opportunity, this program helps companies to find qualified workers who might not be available in a particular territory.

To understand the impact of a project like “Your first EURES job” for an employer, we contacted the Edmund Mach Foundation, which has been collaborating with us for many years. The Edmund Mach Foundation is a real citadel of agriculture that extends over a campus of about 14 acres with classrooms, greenhouses, laboratories, offices and a huge green area, located north of Trento, Italy, in the municipality of San Michele all'Adige. It is a prestigious institution founded in 1874, which has accomplished important international achievements over the years.

As Daniele Barbacovi - psychologist, Coordinator of the Human Resources Development Unit of the Mach Foundation - told us, this organization operates on multiple fronts: "it has three centers: an education and training center which includes an agricultural institute with one thousand students enrolled every year; a research and innovation center which operates in Agriculture, Food and Environment areas and employs most of the international human resources, including youth selected by the YfEj project; and a technology transfer center, which is responsible for transferring national and international research activities into the Trentino area in support of agricultural entrepreneurs, public entities and private companies in general".

The Mach Foundation has been using the services offered by the YfEj project since 2015 and has offered dozens of job positions to young people from all over Europe. In the last year, three candidates from Belgium, United Kingdom and Greece have been hired by the Mach Foundation respectively as "Researcher in the field of aquatic ecology", "Researcher in the field of Plant ecophysiology and phenotyping" and "Researcher in the field of medicinal and aromatic plant breeding ". We asked Dr. Barbacovi, how his organization became aware of the YfEj project: "... I will start by thanking Dr. Laura Pitteri, EURES Consultant of the Autonomous Province of Trento, who showed us the potential of the YfEj initiative. She is our key contact to search for new employees in Europe. For us, it is certainly a strong and fruitful cooperation. The Trento Employment Agency Dr.Pitteri belongs to, has always been a source for us to find candidates for our programs. Recently, we were invited to the "Eurodyssey" initiative, a training and internship program abroad for young Europeans, thanks to which our Foundation hosted two trainees from Spain ".

As many of us know, all well established companies or organizations (public or private) can be part of the YfEj project as long as they are recognized as EU 28  (with some exceptions) entities, including the ones from Norway and Iceland, regardless of their size or economic sector.

However, only small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from the financial support made available by the project. We asked Dr. Barbacovi of the Mach Foundation, which are the real advantages for an employer in joining a project like "Your First EURES Job: "... we strongly believe in people’s mobility. YfEj 6.0 is an initiative that favors the field of research. This field relies greatly on the mobility of workers, because 'worker mobility' means 'mobility of ideas'. If the researchers remained limited to their country of origin, the wealth of research would be much more limited. It is certainly a fact that the movement of people facilitates the creation of projects and promotes new scientific discoveries”.

Moreover, “Your First EURES Job” is a powerful recruiting tool for our Foundation as well as for the companies involved. “This project facilitates travel, facilitates the knowledge of languages and, above all, the integration of people. This is a necessary tool for organizations like ours" - continued Dr. Barbacovi - "we launch job vacancies announcements for positions as researchers and technologists who need a wide, international audience. Our vacancy notices are in English, they receive a high number of views making the selection process more effective. Through portals such as Euraxess, EURES, we assure that our offers reach an international job market of high level candidates ".

Your First EURES Job project therefore increases job advertising, generating a situation of mutual benefit, both for the young job seeker and the possible employer: "the YFEJ initiative - confirmed Dr. Barbacovi - allows us to enter the job advertising market, with a 'package of services' which makes our offer even more attractive. Let's be clear: there is no advantage for us in monetary terms. It is rather a series of benefits which, in addition to giving greater visibility and attractiveness to our organization, highlights above all, our level of attention towards future employees ".

“The Mach Foundation - continues Dr. Barbacovi - gives great attention to all newly hired employees and whoever joins our programs for research, study, or visiting. From the initial arrival at the Foundation Centers, everyone can count on the Welcome Office: "... it is an office - explained Dr. Barbacovi - to which we direct also young people hired through the YfEj project and which manages the entry procedures. This office facilitates job placement at the Foundation and integration of all newly hired international staff in our territory. We support them from their first day of job orientation to the moment they will be reunited with their families. The Welcome Office is also a focal point in the EURAXESS - Researchers in Motion Network, the network promoted by the European Commission in support of the mobility of researchers, to which we belong to. Specifically, with the regard to housing, the Foundation, which has at heart the mobility of people and understands the importance of finding their first accommodation, has created a fair priced guesthouse in order to facilitate the first two months of accommodation ".

On another note, there are many services provided by the YfEj project specifically directed to the employers, from the assistance in advertising job vacancies, to advice on hiring an employee from a country other than the one in which the company is based, including the pre-selection of candidates. Our services also extend assistance to the employers in finalizing the integration program for new hires, which can be financed by the project for companies up to 250 employees. "Integration is never easy and/or immediate. Very often, the language barrier is a problem - the Coordinator of the Human Resources Development Unit reminded us - and many young Europeans struggle to integrate at first. For us, among the benefits made available by YfEj, it has been of primary importance to make the financing of language courses possible for every new hire. As we all know, English is the mother tongue in the field of research, however, when family, personal, and extra-work needs arise, it becomes essential to know the language of the host country. This service, which we provide, has helped greatly our young population of employees to quickly integrate into their new work environment".

Researchers have always been identified as a category of mobile workers, and it is a well-established fact that international cooperation and exchanges of ideas are essential for the advancement of science. Our Foundation, concluded Dr. Barbacovi, - will continue to count on European projects such as Your first EURES job - he pointed out - not because of the scarcity of local applications but rather because the exchange of ideas among young people from different countries and cultures has acquired greater educational value and importance: “... the more we manage to accept international and European applications, the easier it becomes, from the movements and dynamics created, to reach a greater productivity level. We value young people’s experience, we support the development of women careers and, of course, the mobility of workers. These are really among the main challenges and at the same the great opportunities of our future ".


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