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Emilia-Romagna hunting for talent with an ad hoc law

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Emilia-Romagna hunting for talent with an ad hoc law

It had been announced before the summer and now the flagship law of Emilia-Romagna for the attraction of talent is (almost) ready to be examined by the assembly. «It is a unique provision on the national scene which has the objective of attracting, retaining and enhancing highly specialized people, especially young people, also focusing on the return from abroad of brain drains: this region needs talent to grow and is able to offer, above all to boys and girls, a system that invests in and enhances their skills and aptitudes”, underlines the governor Stefano Bonaccini, making official the bill “Attracting, staying and enhancing highly specialized talents in Emilia -Romagna”. Approved at the political level in the last Giunta, the text has now been sent to the Council of Local Autonomies and to the signatories of the Pact for Work and the Climate (entrepreneurial, trade union, social and academic forces of the Via Emilia), before the go-ahead definitive in next week’s session and then move on to the examination of the assembly commissions and final approval in the Chamber, expected for January 2023.

Attracting and retaining talent of all ages.

“It is an identity measure, just like Law 14 was in 2014 for the attraction of investments, which in five years has brought 76 industrial projects to the territory, 340 million euros of investments and 3 thousand new jobs – underlines the Councilor for Economic Development and Employment, Vincenzo Colla – and it is the first law of its kind in Italy to attract and retain talent, both in the public and private sectors, without age limits. We are a region with flat demographics and we cannot afford to let our young people leave the training path and we need to attract new ones and recall skills to support development”. The text of the law provides for a shared commitment of public institutions and local bodies, universities and research centres, businesses, professions and trade union organisations, foundations and chambers of commerce, to promote the international opening of the territories and provide an offer of European and international level.

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A mix of old and new tools and incentives

The attractiveness levers will range from concessions for companies that hire young people who have fled abroad interested in working or doing research in Emilia-Romagna, to personalized and highly specialized training courses up to welfare service packages (nurseries, schools, lodgings, work-life balance) for young people and their families. «The law is a set of tools that partly already exist and partly new: among the existing ones – specifies the regional councilor for the University, Paola Salomoni – there are university scholarships, which last year were worth 100 million euros . We have almost 170,000 students enrolled in Emilia-Romagna universities, 51% of whom come from outside the region. We want to guarantee everyone the same opportunities, not only for study but for work, regardless of economic condition and origin”. Also on track are the 13 million euros allocated in the 2023 budget to finance Regional Law 14/14 on attracting investments (complementary to the new text to attract staff), which has always provided for mandatory quotas for company recruitment. Among the new tools, however, there are infant-toddler centers and international schools, so that those arriving from abroad with their families can let their children continue their studies in the language, but also vouchers to accompany those arriving in the region and incentives for businesses which they hire (an initial allocation of 2 million has already been allocated in the regional budget starting from the 2023 financial year), also to create guesthouses. The law will also be supported through European funds, in particular for training, employment and residency.

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Leading businesses

The text provides for the direct involvement of businesses and the Emilia-Romagna production system. To this end, a “Permanent Manifesto” will be drawn up which will involve companies and supply chains and the Region will take charge of strengthening the information and digital systems to facilitate the matching of talent supply and demand and the anticipation of skills needs, as well as the participation in European programs for professional and entrepreneurial mobility. «The competitiveness of a territory depends on the quality of human capital, the decisive ingredient for building a cohesive, dynamic and innovative region. Emilia-Romagna – concludes President Bonaccini – already offers a good quality of life and expresses unique excellence in the world. We are now betting on attracting, retaining and enhancing talent to support our leading sectors, from data valleys to manufacturing districts and creative sectors. This law is a beautiful and complex challenge, we will see how it goes, we are ready to improve it and we hope it will also be an inspiration for the national government ».

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