The target population of FORWORK is asylum-seeking individuals and refugees in the Italian region of Piedmont.
Applications for international protection in Italy are evaluated by territorial commissions. The process of granting humanitarian status and the residence permit, from the first application to the possible appeal, may take over two years. While the decision is pending applicants have the right to remain in the country and to work. Most of them are hosted the Centri di Accoglienza Straordinaria (CAS). In later stages of the application process, asylum seekers and refugees move to the Sistema di Protezione per titolari di protezione Internazionale e Minori stranieri non accompagnati (SIPROIMI – previously known as SPRAR), although this transition is not always guaranteed. Both types of centres are variable in size, and geographically dispersed. Net of a limited number of characteristics, the allocation to these centres is random.
The target population of FORWORK are asylum seekers hosted in the CAS. These are centres contracted by the Ministry of Interior and provide only basic services. The CAS system bears an increasing share of the burden on infrastructure and service. In 2017, when the FORWORK project has been designed, CAS hosted 137,745 asylum seekers. It follows that the great majority of asylum seekers in Italy are hosted in centres offering very limited opportunities for labour market integration. The complexity and protracted nature of this situation sets the coordination of activities in CAS as one of the most important policy challenges for the country.