Is Milan really an international city? Are the job opportunities of the city that received 20 million visitors last year for EXPO 2015 really for everybody? How can students and former international students get engaged and more aware of how to be ready to enter the job market?

To these and to other questions on this topic, the ESAA event organised in Milan in the conference room of 55 Milano on the 26th of October by garagErasmus4Milano & Lombardia, thanks to the support of the Erasmus+ student and Alumni association, tried to give some answers. Milan lives in a permanent contradiction: being, without doubts, the most international city in Italy able to give more professional opportunities to recently graduated people, it doesn’t look able to respond to all job requests.

Almost 100 people, mostly former international students, gathered to follow the round-table conference about: “Milan, brain drain or talents’ attraction?” that put around the same table experts about education and professional opportunities to discuss about the future projection of the city of Milan, in terms of professional opportunities, with the moderation of Vito Potenza, Senior Partner at Potenza & Partners – Certified Chartered Accountants and Auditors firm and President of the Ethical Committee of garagErasmus.

Different opinions were underlined during the one-hour round-table conference: an important contribution was given by prof. Francesco Lenoci, who, thanks to his teaching experience at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano, is expecting the city and the politicians to do more to open professional gates to students, remarking that twenty years ago in Milan it was easier to access the job market. His view is shared by Laura Soldati, researcher, Adjunct Professor in Applied Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Milan, who is convinced that in sciences, despite the few resources available, the research done in Italy is able to elaborate remarkable results.

“Milan is an intellectual, innovative and robust business opportunity for any person who wants to be successful: young people don’t have to get scared to bet on theirselves”: this is how Marina Mele, soft skills consultant and executive coach, described the city that every hear welcomes 4.300 international students.

 “Opening my start up in Italy was not easy at all, but if I did it, it means that it is not impossible to do it!” commented Alberto Mazzetti, CEO of SOS, the independent website to compare prices of ADSL, electric energy, gas, assurance, phones, mobile internet, TV and loans, that placed the motivation as the fundamental value that a young entrepreneur has to follow, that can beat all the bureaucratical and technical obstacles imposed by Italian legislation.

​“garagErasmus has come up with innovative ideas regarding how to make easier to look for opportunities to young people, starting from reuniting the Erasmus generation, both on the garagErasmus online platform and off-line, thanks to the activities done by the local association, such as the newborn garagErasmus4Milano & Lombardia”, concluded Marco Mazzini, Co-Founder & Managing Partner Smartive, Co-Founder of garagErasmus.

An important contribution to the discussion was given by Zuzana Huňková, junior recruitment specialist at Wipjobs, Polish recruitment company that received, in 5 years, more than 800 applications to work in Poland and in the Czech Republic from Italian candidates: “The higher unemployment in Italy in the last years caused a clear increase in the requests to go to work abroad from the Country; Italian candidates have as strong points the great adaptability to the new environment and the flexibility to learn new jobs. However, we notice that, even without a strong education as background, sometimes the salary expectations for the first job are not balanced”. Doors of companies are anyway open in Central European countries, especially in Engineering and Customer Service sector.

A more detailed overview of the opportunities given by Erasmus+ was explained by Alessandra Palmulli, which thanks to her recent experience in Brussels could tell what being an Erasmus+ trainer is like, she hopes that garagErasmus could become the real and natural path for every Erasmus+ participants and European citizen. The complete picture regarding EU opportunities was given by the speech of Viviana Premazzi, ESAA Board member that showed to the participants how ESAA can concretely support ideas and projects that involve European values.

The event organised today has been done exactly to give to all of you the idea of the mission of garagErasmus4Milano & Lombardia– concluded Carlo and Fabrizio Bitetto, inspirators and founders of the local chapter – we will bring European values and opportunities to the people, organising round-table conferences, workshops, meetings. We want people in the bar on Monday morning to talk not only about our beloved football but also about Europe. Territorial institutions, the universities and the companies to be active in the project will.  There is a strong need for Europe, now more than never”.

The kick-off had all the premises to be the start of a winning project that will keep together all the actors involved in internationalisation in the economic capital city of Italy. There is something new moving in Milano and ESAA contributed decisively to it: the aim is very clear and the guys are really into the idea to bring Europe closer to people, especially to those that now are far from it

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