Milan, 11 January 2017. “Young people are the driving force behind our economy,” explains Ali Reza Arabnia, the president and CEO of the Geico Taikisha Group. “They are the future and therefore it is vital that we harness their potential in order to bring freshness and innovation into all sectors. We entrepreneurs have a huge responsibility towards society as a whole, from the micro-community represented by our own employees to the wider community that surrounds us. For this reason, it is vital that we show perseverance, awareness and determination in order to support projects that can positively influence the economy as a whole, specifically as regards youth employment. The first and most concrete objective we have to pursue is to start from our local area – that’s why my family, in collaboration with the Pardis Foundation, has launched the Gate Bridge project.”
Gate Bridge is the first project supported by the Pardis Foundation, which was set up by the Arabnia family with the mission of helping young graduates and school leavers between the ages of 18 and 30 find jobs in local companies. The project plays an important mediatory role between the various parties and finances all costs relating to the young person’s incorporation into the company.
The project, which was inspired by Geico’s experience of helping young people into roles within its own organisation, offers a concrete opportunity to young people looking for work, helping them to take on an active role within the community.
Launched in 2015, Gate Bridge has already generated some impressive results. In its first year of operation, the project set up 12 internships, of which nine turned into full hires. A further seven internships were launched in 2016, with two having finished and another five set to end in February 2017.
The local companies involved in the Gate Bridge project include Massironi Carni srl, Polychim srl, Algala srl (a project by Alessandro Galanti of AlgalaLux), Sme Up spa, Phaba srl, Ipq Tecnologie srl, Assograph Italia srl, Lantech Solution spa, Bluwater spa (Acquaworld), Studio Zeta, Studio Greppi, Exhibo spa and OMP Mechtron Spa.
With help from its partners AFOL Monza e Brianza and Assolombarda, the Pardis Foundation selects the young people to place in local participating companies and provides the finance necessary to launch the six-month internships.
The project includes three cohorts per year, with applications open to any young person who has been in a position of professional instability for at least six months. Specific information is provided as to the number of positions open and the deadlines for applications, both for the companies and the young people. More specifically, the essential attributes necessary for young people to apply are professionalism and reliability, while companies must be able to demonstrate their ability to offer a development path capable of continuing even after the six-month internship.
“The aim is to find young people between the ages of 18 and 30 who are serious about looking for work but, for whatever reason, haven’t been able to find any,” adds Ali Reza Arabnia. “We want to help place these in local Lombard companies by acting as mediators and financing the six-month internships. This has no economic or professional reward for our group – it is simply our way of giving something back to the community.”
In December, a new round of vacancies was announced with some of the most prestigious companies in Lombardy. There are currently 11 positions open: a web server and applications developer, a mechanical, electrical or automotive engineer, an electrical or telecommunications engineer, an IT systems assistant, a junior critical services systems analyst, a social media communications and marketing assistant, a communications and marketing assistant in the electromechanical sector, a quality control assistant, an electrician, a waiter and a welder.