By Marta Guglielmetti, Executive Director, Global Solidarity Fund
Millions of migrants and refugees face challenges in accessing the labor market and securing job opportunities across the globe. The economic shock and dislocation of the COVID-19 pandemic have greatly heightened these challenges.
Providing access to dignified, productive, and decent work for migrants, refugees, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) is essential to reduce poverty, create more inclusive economies, uphold human rights, and offer alternatives to forced migration.
The Global Solidarity Fund, together with Goal 17 Partners and the Tent Partnership for Refugees, seeks to catalyse new partnerships to make a decisive dent in responding to these challenges, with an exciting new venture, an INNOVATION LAB.
The Innovation Lab will launch July 15 with a high-level virtual briefing, featuring leaders from the private sector, the Vatican, and Catholic women’s, and men’s congregations, discussing both the bottlenecks and opportunities at the intersection of job creation and migration.
The Innovation Lab creates a global-level platform to connect the extensive distribution networks of businesses with the knowledge and historic experiences of Catholic congregations and other faith-based organizations. It will create pathways to job opportunities for millions of migrants, refugees, and IDPs. It will focus on identifying actionable solutions for migrants seeking to join the labor market.
Join us on July 15 to discuss how, together, we can create innovative and effective solutions for migrants around three main areas:
- INNOVATION: creating actionable technology solutions to drive the employment of migrants. Examples include providing a tech platform(s) for congregations and other faith actors to centralize and manage all their data for working with vulnerable communities (CVs, job placements, etc.), or providing a mobile app(s) where the vulnerable communities can view job vacancies matching their professional experience to job opportunities.
- ADVOCACY: creating concrete opportunities for advocacy from CEOs and companies to build a more inclusive economy and create the best conditions for job creation for migrants, refugees and IDPs.
- OPERATIONS EXPERTISE AND BUSINESS MINDSET: providing practical business skills support to migrants and helping faith-based organizations to apply best practices from business to support migrant communities.
The Innovation Lab is not a one-time event or webinar. It is an interactive platform and a process to develop concrete solutions!
Following the launch, the Lab will host private, off-the-record discussions, with a public-facing event around the Rome G20 Summit in late October 2021 to announce commitments and share early results. A concluding summit in Q3 of 2022 will communicate firm solutions and outcomes generated by the Lab.
Why does connecting businesses and faith-based organizations constitute the ideal key?
Businesses can unlock economic opportunity for migrants. Companies need highly motivated workers, but they often lack reliable systems to hire migrants or concrete steps to take to hire refugees. On the other side, many migrants across the globe face challenges in accessing the labor market and securing job opportunities.
Many faith-based organizations have extensive access, experience, and a sophisticated understanding of holistic needs for migrants, refugees, and IDPs. Faith-based communities are often the most trusted resources for those who are most vulnerable.
In addition, faith-based organizations have developed successful innovative models to integrate migrants and refugees into the labor market. They are in deep relationships with migrant communities, providing services as well as an example of selfless dedication for the common good and systemic change. For example, the Scalabrinian brothers have already partnered with Cisco to build a pilot platform for training and job creation.
This expertise is coupled with unparalleled reach through more than 850,000 men and women religious around the world.
The solution is to build synergies and bridges. That is why GSF has created this powerful network of faith-based organizations, private sector partners and global development organizations to support job creation and placement for migrants. It creates a model which sweeps away the bottlenecks and connects the job market at a grassroots community level.
We recognize that this is a huge ambition, but we believe those goals are reachable. Come join us on the journey!