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The Extra-titoli project: recognition of skills and academic qualifications in Italy

Logo of the Extra titoli project - white letter of the name of the project against dark blue backgound

 

Extra-titoli is a project developed by the association A Pieno Titolo to provide practical support and advice to third-country nationals (TCNs) who need to have their academic titles, qualifications or professional skills recognised in Italy.

A Pieno Titolo is a non-profit organisation working in the field of social integration and orientation of migrants, including in terms of recognition of foreign professional and educational qualifications. The organisation was specifically founded to identify effective strategies to fill the gaps in the process of titles and skills recognition in Italy - a lengthy and often overly bureaucratic procedure.

Project Goal

The objectives of the project include:

  • to promote the value of educational degrees and professional training acquired abroad, as well as their formal recognition in Italy and/or the ability to access new training paths
  • to promote the integration of foreign citizens into the labour market and, more generally, in the society
  • to transform skills and professional experience obtained in other countries into added value for the local economy
  • to provide information on education and training opportunities in Italy
  • to promote the integration of TCNs in the local labour market, including in the form of self-employment
  • to promote the levelling of both general and technical language skills (Italian L2)
  • to provide support and information to local services on these issues
Poster for Extra titoli - a photo of migrants, possibly studying, with text saying the project provides support in skills and educational qualifications' recognition

How it works

Extra-titoli started in Turin in 2007 and has since expanded to other areas of Italy, mainly in the Piedmont region. It has been active in the cities of Asti, Biella, Novara and Savigliano (CN) since 2016, and in Vercelli and Cuneo since 2017. It is a unique project as there is no other region in Italy where such a service is so widespread. 

The Extra-titoli project provides several services:

  • The central activity of the project is the running of a support desk. Through it, specialised social workers evaluate the migrants' educational credentials and skills. They provide TCNs with detailed information on the steps of recognition procedures, and refer migrants to the relevant services and local administration in the area.
  • The project also provides one-on-one counselling and practical support in the actual process of recognition.
  • Workshops and trainings are offered, particularly on self-employment and the needs of businesses.
  • The project monitors the results of the procedures for the recognition of educational titles and qualifications of TCNs who request assistance from the helpdesk.
  • To promote mutual assistance networks and the exchange of information and support, Extra-titoli organises regular meetings with the competent authorities, representatives of the education systems and civil society.

Extra-titoli officers are professionals in the fields of education, employment policies, vocational training and support for vulnerable adults.

The project is implemented by the association A Pieno Titolo in partnership with the Agenzia Piemonte Lavoroan, or the Active Employment Agency, and theregion's Provincial Centers for Adult Education and Training(CPIA).

In the period 2020-2023, the activities of the project were additionally strengthened by the parallel initiative Fatti Riconoscere (or 'Get Recognised'), implemented by A Pieno Titolo together with the University of Turin. While this latter project mainly aims at capacity building and systematising good practices and guidelines in the field of educational title recognition, knowledge and practice from it have also been central in enhancing the support Extra-titoli offers to TCNs. 

Results

Based on the monitoring made by A Pieno Titolo, about 2 500 TCNs have benefitted from support and orientation through the project's help desk between 2007 and 2015. Among them, more than half have been accompanied in every step in the process of recognition.

Juri Di Molfetta, project coordinator for Extra-titoli, said that in 2023 alone there have been about 200 requests for a first-time appointment with the help desk. Most of the requests for support were made by migrants who did not know how to start a title or skills recognition process. Extra-titoli followed up on their cases throughout the entire recognition procedure.

Evaluation

No formal public evaluation of the project is available. However, the University of Turin published an assessment of the project's first 10 years; the assessment was based on internal monitoring conducted by A Pieno Titolo in 2017. 

For it, 115 beneficiaries were interviewed and asked to assess the project's impact on their employment status. A majority of the project beneficiaries (53%) recognised that their economic and employment statuses have improved after receiving assistance from the help desk. However, a large number of beneficiaries also chose to stop the recognition process because of the high costs and length of the procedures. 

Who benefits

All TCNs legally residing in the Piedmont region are welcome to benefit from the project. Most of the people who do use the services of Extra-titoli tend to be low- and medium-skilled migrants who have arrived in Italy without all the necessary documents to have their titles and skills easily recognised.

In addition to migrants, the project benefits the region's economy and society at large by aiding the meaningful socio-economic integration of foreigners.

Funding and resources

Extra-titoli is possible through private funding via the San Paolo bank. 

Since 2014, the project has also been supported within the context of a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Turin, Compagnia di San Paolo and Ufficio Pio della Compagnia di San Paolo, which supports actions in favour of vulnerable groups.

About this good practice

Details

Original source
Posted by
Ferruccio Pastore
Country Coordinator

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