Understanding the Public Sector in Veneto: The Patto Sociale per il Lavoro (PSIL)

By Giacomo Loperfido

The PSIL is a service established by the Provincia institution in 2010. Its purpose was to create an hub or space that would put into communication private and public social institutions in the area, with the aim of providing assistance to the weaker strata of the population. These were (and are) considered to be at risk of social exclusion because they are pushed at the margins of the worlds of both formal and informal labor, and are excluded from the possibility to access an income providing occupation. As we found for the case of small entrepreneurs, here as well it appears that “work” is a crucial reality not only at the material level, but that it is also a fundamental symbolic resource in the reproduction of both individual and collective life.

The workers in the PSIL social service provide institutional networking all over the territory of Vicenza Province, in order to find employment resources and help people that are suffering from being unemployed. The service (1) provides economic assistance (a kind of subsidy rather than a wage) in exchange for Lavori Socialmente Utili (services of public utility undertaken by the unemployed person); (2) helps unemployed people develop a planned strategy in order to aid them in getting a job. The latter service uses public/private networks and proceeds by introducing the unemployed worker to an enterprise and supporting financially a period of apprenticeship after which the worker is (supposed to be) hired.