We understand how difficult it can be to find work in Italy, where the local systems and work culture may be foreign to you. Finding a job has become even more important since the Salvini Decree got rid of humanitarian protection and made it necessary to convert it to a permesso di soggiorno like the work permit.
That’s why we’ve asked SINGA Italia, an organization that provides professional mentoring and hosts a business lab, to help us gather some practical tips to help you look for a job and become financially independent.
You can use this article to help you learn about:
- Basic job requirements and qualifications in Italy
- What a CV is and how to make one
- Where to look for a job
- Resources for job training and support
Remember: You can legally start working in Italy 60 days after you filed your C3 form. However, it’s also important you keep in mind that having a work contract will not help you get international protection status in Italy.
Basic requirements for getting a job
If you’ve already looked through job postings, you may have noticed that there are some basic requirements and qualifications that employers often ask for. Below are a couple of these that may increase your chances of getting a job.
A basic level of Italian
According to SINGA, language skills are crucial to getting many types of work and lack them may be a barrier to finding employment. To learn or improve your Italian, you can enroll in an adult learning center or CPIA. You can message us on Facebook and we’ll do our best to find some options in your area.
You can also take one of the many free language courses available online such as Studiami. SINGA recommends L’italiano in Famiglia, Il grande portale della lingua italiana and University for Refugees.
Terza media certificate
Diploma di terza media is often the minimum level of education required to get a job, but this depends on the type of job. You can learn more about CPIA and education for adults in Italy on our website here.
If you hold a diploma or a degree from your country, you can get it recognized in Italy to help you in your job application process. The process is a little complex but you can learn more here.
Note: Some jobs, such as those in agriculture and construction, don’t require particular language skills or a terza media certificate. In these sectors, employers will place high value on your previous work experience.
How to prepare your CV and job interview
A curriculum vitae (CV) is a short written description listing your education, qualifications, skills and previous jobs. CVs allow a potential employer to understand if your profile matches the position.
Every CV can follow a different format, but Europass is one of the most common ones in Europe and quite easy to fill in too. You can fill it out in English, French, Italian and other European languages. Here’s a short tutorial about how to create a CV using Europass.
It’s always a good idea to ask someone to review your CV before applying, such as your teacher, the operator of your center, an Italian friend or maybe an organization near you that supports migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers.
Once someone reviews your CV, you can print it out and keep it handy in case you see a job advertisement at a local business or company, or send it out to organizations you’d like to work for even if they don’t have current job openings.
If an employer thinks you’re a good fit for the position, they may invite you for an interview. The interview is your opportunity to show the employer that you are the ideal candidate for the job.
Drop us a private message on Facebook if you need help finding an organization in your area that can support you with writing a CV or preparing for a job interview.
Centri per l’impiego
The centri per l’impiego, “unemployment center” in English, is a good starting point for your job hunt. It offers a training to help you develop your professional skills and a job orientation to help you find work. The quality of the services and job opportunities you find there may vary across Italy. Here’s an example of what the centro per l’impiego offers in Milan.
To find the closest center in your area, you can google “centro per l’impiego” and the name of the city where you’re staying. If you live in a small village, you can look for the centro per l’impiego in the closest major town or city to you.
You can also use this website, which lists the centri per l'impiego across Italy.
What do I need in order to register with the centro per l’impiego?
To register, the centro per l’impiego will most likely ask you for:
- A valid permesso di soggiorno — which is also valid as an ID if you do not have your carta di identità
- Your codice fiscale
When registering at the centro per l’impiego, you need to make sure you also sign the Dichiarazione di Immediata Disponibilità (DID), “declaration of immediate availability” in English, which formally recognizes your unemployment status. You can also sign the DID at any patronato in your area, such as CGIL, ANOLF, UIL or ACLI. These are labor unions that help anyone in Italy, including migrants, with bureaucratic processes.
To find the closest patronato in your area, you can google “patronato" and the name of the city where you’re staying. If you live in a small village, you can look for the patronato in the closest major town or city to you.
After signing this declaration, it’s important you also sign the Patto di Servizio Personalizzato (PSP), “pact for personalized service” in English, which helps identify the most appropriate course of action and services to help you find work.
You can find more information (in Italian) on the ANPAL website, the National Agency for Active Employment Policies.
If you need help finding a centro per l’impiego or patronato, you can also send us a private message on Facebook and we’ll do our best to find the one in your area.
Tip: If you registered with the local employment center using your permesso di soggiorno and your temporary codice fiscale, and then realized that the personal details on your permesso di soggiorno are incorrect, or you received a permanent codice fiscale, make sure to update your personal information at the centro per l’impiego too.
Where to look for job opportunities online
There are plenty of online platforms where you can find job postings. Below are a few to get you started.
Garanzia Giovani: If you are between 15-29 years old and you hold a valid permesso di soggiorno, you may be interested in the Garanzia Giovani — an EU project that aims to support youth employment. You can learn more about the initiative by going to your closest centro per l’impiego or by checking the website (Italian only). Find out what Garanzia Giovani offers in your region here.
Employment agencies: Agenzie del lavoro such as Manpower and Gi Group allow you to create an online profile, upload your CV, select your career interest and sector, and start looking for a job. Most of these agencies also offer offline career support in many cities across Italy. Here’s a list of the employment agencies that are registered in Italy. Note that Adecco and Randstad, who run the “Safe In” and “Without Borders” projects respectively, have worked to include migrants and refugees in Italy’s labor market.
Companies: Check out this list of companies that train and hire asylum-seekers and refugees, and were awarded UNHCR’s Welcome prize in 2018. Some other companies hiring asylum-seekers and refugees in Italy include Autogrill, Poste Italiane, Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats.
⚠️ Please be aware that while searching on the internet can be an easier way to look for job opportunities, there are also many scams. Make sure to research the employer and be careful not to hand over any sensitive information such as your codice fiscale or bank account information, or wire money.
Resources for job training and support
If you’d like more support, here are some organizations and resources that can help you prepare your job application as well as provide you with job training and mentoring, or even start-up funding if you have a business idea.
- Introduction to Job Search Skills: A 2-hour course on how to search for job opportunities and get your career moving forward.
- Mygrants: An app in English, French and Italian that provides migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers with information, job placements and training programs to help develop their interests and soft and hard skills, including preparing for job interviews.
- Singa: An organization offering professional mentoring and a business lab program for soon-to-be entrepreneurs. Unfortunately they only work in the Milan area, but they hope to expand soon to other cities across Italy.
- Joel Nafuma Refugee Center: A day center in Rome which offers asylum-seekers and refugees language courses, support with preparing CVs and job interviews, talks with industry professionals and job trainings.
- Resto al sud: An initiative that provides start-up funding for eligible entrepreneurs ages 18-35 who have 5-year permessi.
- ItaliaHello: Wrote an article on where to look for job opportunities in the agricultural sector. You can read more here.
- Work Is Progress – Soleterre: the program offers orientation, training, multidisciplinary advice and matching with labour opportunities.