Good morning everyone,
I’m honored to be here, on AVSI’s invitation to tell you about our social inclusion project in favor of Immigrants and Refugees who have arrived in our country, Italy.
The integration of Immigrants and refugees in our society is such a huge issue that touches everyone. My city, Milano alone, in the last four years has welcomed more than 100.000 (a hundred thousand) people. Seeing that we believe all players of civil society, including entrepreneurs, have an important commitment and responsibility in this issue, we have felt the need to be more actively involved.
Motivation and mission
Starting from this point, my life and business partner Antonio and I asked ourselves what we could do more concretely, using our business and entrepreneurial experience, something more than just the financial support that we have always given to international NGOs.
I personally come from an area of Italy, Brianza, which represents design and furniture and where the work ethos has always been lived with a strong sense of social responsibility and accountability from both employers and employees.
Work and Milano have given us a lot, so we want to give something back to our community. We believe that professional training and work, more than simple welfare and assistance, can be effective tools for helping people to build a new life, giving them a real opportunity to integrate into our society.
Our company, Panino Giusto, works in the casual dining segment of the hospitality industry. We run restaurants both in Italy and abroad: in the Uk, in China, in Japan and the USA.
We have 450 employees with an average age of 24.
Our employees already represent a picture of the changing face of Italy: a multiethnic society which takes advantage of sharing and integrating different cultures.
Actually 38% of them are not originally from Italy and half of them are originally from countries at war or where there is no personal freedom.
At the very heart of our company is the training dedicated to hundreds of young people who rebuild and build their lives with us, learning a profession and making them ambassadors of our Italian lifestyle.
When AVSI came to us with the idea of the project “CUCINARE PER RICOMINICIARE” (cooking for starting over) we immediately liked it as it focuses on specific training and professional internship for people.
This kind of project allowes us to to share our know-how and what we are dedicated to every day.
Let me briefly sum the project up:
In 2016 we started supporting a job integration project from AVSI and the social cooperative FARSI PROSSIMO.
This project provided basic language and technical training, followed by a six month internship in one of our restaurants.
If people showed the right motivation and the appropriate skills we would hire them.
Thanks to this project 15 young people were trained, four of whom have been selected for an internship in our restaurants and three of whom got a job contract.
In 2017 besides confirming internships and job contracts we asked AVSI if we could run the training part of the project, offering our trainers, didactic tools and class rooms in our ACCADEMIA DEL PANINO ITALIANO, which is a cultural and educational foundation set up to promote the Italian panino worldwide.
Finally we involved other entrepreneurs in hospitality, including some of our competitors, who joined the project.
We took care of the whole training process in our academy and they gave the students the opportunity of an internship and eventual employment.
Many hospitality companies got on board in the project and this makes us more and more motivated to spreading contagion.
This year we have trained another 15 young people, all of whom are now doing an internship with a strong chance of being hired in companies such as Rosso Pomodoro, Panini Durini, Ca’pucino, Grom, California Bakery and ours.
This project has been having a very positive impact on our company.
First of all it has been adopted by our employees who have actively supported it.
Our company culture puts people at the center of its focus and this project has made it stronger.
Now I’d like to show a short video we shot a few days ago with one of our guys Berry Richard, who has become a stalwart of the team.
Thanks once again for letting us share our project based on the link between EDUCATION and WORK which groups different players of civil society.