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Abstract

This article contributes to the study of policies for the integration of immigrants into the labour markets of European immigration countries by focusing on the specific issue of vocational training for immigrant workers in Italy. Vocational training has a central role in the European employment strategy. Moreover, with regard to migrants, it is also relevant to the topical issue of the governance of international labour migration.

The article analyses both the demand and the supply of vocational training in north-east Italy, generally regarded as the rich and industrialised heart of the country. It draws on 30 interviews conducted with key informants and experts from local and regional governmental bodies, trade unions, employment offices, and private educational agencies in the main towns of the Veneto region.

Various types of vocational training for immigrant workers are considered, from traditional full-time courses financed by the European Social Fund to new projects for the selection and pre-training of immigrants in their countries of origin. The extent to which these policy tools are able to meet the actual needs of immigrant workers and of the local business sector is investigated, as well as their problematic interaction with the national regulatory framework for immigration control.