Digital Republic, calls for tenders to recover 8,500 unemployed are underway

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A gift of 22.2 million euros to carry out 53 projects in 2024 and employ 8,500 unemployed people or workers at high risk of substitutability. That is, people who risk losing their jobs have already lost them because they no longer have the skills necessary for a new job. These are the numbers that concern the tenders promoted by the Fund for the Digital Republic, the social enterprise completely controlled by Acri (the association of Foundations and Savings Banks Spa) to support people from “disadvantaged” categories who risk being left out from the production circuit.

Not a very comforting scenario

The starting point is the data that characterizes the Italian scenario. Because in our country, as underlined by the Fund for the Digital Republic, “there is the highest rate of inactivity, with a percentage of 34%”. “People between 34 and 50 are those most affected by the phenomenon and among them – they underline – is concentrated the highest share of long-term unemployed, i.e. those who have been looking for and have not found a job for more than a year”. Another critical element is the fact that Italy is among the countries with the highest skill mismatch rate in Europe: the resulting skill gap translates into the inability to acquire, within the transition times technological, the same complex skills that a robot would perform in our place.

From the north to the islands, the Fund’s calls

Precisely to address this situation, two tenders have been created which concern both the North and Central Italy and the Southern area and the islands. These are “Prospects”, which sees 41 eligible projects for a total of 18.6 million and “In progress” with 12 eligible projects supported with 3.6 million euros. The “Perspectives” call aims to «accompany the development of digital skills of women and men on the margins of the labor market – unemployed and inactive, aged between 34 and 50, to offer them better opportunities and conditions of insertion and permanence in the world of work. “In Progress” is, however, «dedicated to the growth of the digital skills of workers with tasks at high risk of substitutability due to automation and technological innovation, in order to guarantee better professional opportunities».

The president’s satisfaction

«The two tenders published in 2023 provide for the support of 53 projects that will be launched over the next year – underlines Giovanni Fosti, President of the Fund for the Digital Republic Social Enterprise -. I am happy to note that for the “Perspectives” call, various vulnerable targets will be involved, such as homeless people, people with disabilities, prisoners and migrants. For the “In Progresso” tender, 112 companies will participate, involving 1,805 workers. Digital transformation must concern the entire population.”

Digital skills

The majority of the projects work on the integration of basic and advanced digital skills. «In just over a year of activity, the social enterprise Fund for the Digital Republic has published four calls dedicated to women (18-50 years), to NEET (15-34), to the unemployed and inactive (34-50 years), to workers at risk of replacement due to technological innovation – argues the president -. In total, 456 project proposals were received. A total of 76 projects were selected and supported. A total of just over 35 million euros were awarded to 13,390 beneficiaries.”

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