Reviews and thoughts from the conference held to celebrate ManpowerGroup twentieth anniversary in Italy
A picture of the last twenty years of work, showing the company commitment and giving an overview of the twenty years to come. Manpower chose to hold a conference about employment, welfare and business at the historic premises in via Rossini in Milan to celebrate its birth. It also provided the opportunity to reflect upon the future. The date to celebrate is the 23rd of December 1997, the day in which the company obtained the authorization to operate as the first employment agency in Italy.
Since then, ManpowerGroup has grown and kept a steady commitment. Today, it operates over 230 offices, has 1800 employees, 13 thousand clients and 300 thousand contracts signed each year. «These past twenty years were very significant to us, but we don’t want to stop here», explained Stefano Scabbio, President of Mediterranean, Northern and Eastern Europe Operations for ManpowerGroup.
«Our ambition is to look at our past in order to build a better future, especially for our children. For this reason – he added – in an ever more technological world, we decided to invest all our efforts on skills and continuing education». During his opening speech, which followed the video speech by the Minister of Labour Giuliano Poletti, Scabbio mentioned the company all-time commitment to protect workers: from the introduction of equal pay to bilateral bodies and the development of welfare. A model that, according to the company, managed to create a flexsecurity, which didn’t imply a drop of guarantees.
The static market and the value of skills
Scabbio then highlighted the importance of supporting employment in the forthcoming months, launching tailored-made training courses. According to the last Meos report, the quarterly study of employment done by ManpowerGroup, the labour market will have a slow start during the first quarter of 2018. The hiring expectations are 3% less compared to the previous quarter.
To face this situation, the Group launched “My path”, a platform aimed at professional development, which supports candidates during their working life: from work orientation to training, skills assessment and job opportunities. «The issue is to understand – explained Andrea Solari, Professor of Business Management at the State University in Milan – not only how to bridge the gap between supply and demand, but also how to help workers to forerun trends and invest time in learning skills that will facilitate job transitions. We live in a country where people held the long-lasting view that an identity-related work could exist. Today, this is no longer feasible and it will be less so for the future generations».
Collaborations among companies, a benefit for the country and female workers
Despite the difficulties experienced during the economic recovery, there are several examples of best practice. During the conference, the discussion also focussed on the issue of partnership among companies. Filippo Di Gregorio, HR Director of Dallara, explained how, in the Emilia-Romagna region, companies belonging to the automotive sector such as Lamborghini, Ferrari and Dallara, learnt the importance of networking and counting on territorial synergies.
«We are persuaded that a company can’t make a business if the overall environment is not competitive – he says. I think about schools, educational bodies, public administration and organizations. People are essential: they grow over time and they are not tools on sale. The unique feature of the Motor Valley is this: 7-8 thousand employees holding unparalleled skills». This is why Dallara commitment started from schools, contributing to train future employees, teaching them, for instance, to operate 3D printers. «We launched several projects to persuade companies that their competitor is not the factory next-by, as the challenge is a global issue. So, we did work orientation, made contacts with universities and illustrated what the companies in the area require».
Costanza Ramorino, Deputy Director of Valore D, also spoke about encouraging a strategic dialogue among organizations. «We are an association of large-size companies, specifically founded to support female leadership. We not only work to increase the number of female workers inside a company but also treat it as a business issue».
According to a number of studies, a growth of female workers – today only 4 out of 10 have a salary – is bound to produce significant economic benefits: 268 billion euros, more that 18% of the GDP. This is why Valore D launched the “Manifesto for female employment” last September, featuring nine operating tasks aimed at spreading diversity, talent and female leadership among partner organizations. Among the targets, the commitment to re-assess maternity as a training stage of a woman’s life. «When you have a child, you have to learn how to manage you time more efficiently, and you also learn how to be understanding and flexible. All these skills can be applied to your job once you get back to work».
(Translated by Cecilia Braghin)