Labor Minister Andrea Orlando during an event in Rome | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI
Labor Minister Andrea Orlando during an event in Rome | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI

Italian Labor and Social Policies Minister Andrea Orlando has stressed the need to integrate migrants to fill voids in the country's labor market. He said that legal pathways of immigration must be built in Italy.

Italian Labor and Social Policies Minister Andrea Orlando said on Friday (May 27) that Italy increasingly needs an integration process for migrants "not only to avoid a negative impact on a social level but also for its effect on the labor market."

"Today we start having voids" of manpower "in some sectors than can only be filled through pathways of immigration, and I would say of integration, as an essential condition: this element creates a very strong connection between what is right and what is useful for our country," noted the minister, speaking on the sidelines of the sixth edition of the seminar "Protagonisti! Le nuove generazioni italiane si raccontano" (Protagonists! New Italian generations talk about themselves).

The sixth edition of the seminar was organized by CoNNGI, the network of associations of youths with a history of immigration, held in the Grand Hotel of the Campania city of Salerno.

'Legal pathways must be built'

Orlando went on to say that, "over the past few months, I have worked to give a new central role to the ministry of social policies regarding the management of these phenomena, because they are not a problem of public order, or at least they can't be reduced to one. Doing this means not taking into account the social, economic and cultural impact of immigration -- it means not seeing reality," he stated.

The minister thanked Tourism Minister Massimo Garavaglia for his "political courage" in saying that a decree on migrant flows -- a temporary plan on entry quotas for seasonal workers from outside the EU -- must be reviewed due to a "problem of labor shortages".

"Not everything can be solved with the theme of labor nor everything can be linked to the lack of manpower, however this fact has been denied for years," Orlando noted. "Recognizing this means identifying another series of consequences."

"If some people are not undesired guests anymore but are actually the condition to make some supply chains work, the theme of recognizing these people's rights is not a gracious concession but the fundamental requirement to have an efficient labor market," Orlando said.

The minister noted that a correct integration process is also a matter of efficiency. "Illegal, clandestine immigration, human traffickers must be fought," he said. This is why it is necessary to build "legal, controlled pathways enabling the progressive recognition of rights, enabling paths of inclusion, in the interest of Italians", he concluded.


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