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General objective of the project is identifying, experimenting and modelling methodologies and instruments to contrast employees’ discriminations and disparities.

VARCO’s goal is to bring benefits to the training, working and social systems, to operators in the training and educational fields within the target territory (Rome and Latium); to policy-makers interested in social welfare; to workers involved in the project. The individuated beneficiaries are all represented in the VARCO Development Partnership, guaranteeing a wide participation at each stage of the project.

VARCO’s final users (unskilled and/or over-45 workers, disabled people, marginalised women) will initiate a fundamental process to sort out subjectively-perceived and objective discrimination, by being given access to learning opportunities in the context of a lifelong integrated learning and training system capable of supporting and sustaining their adaptation to “change”.

As specific results, VARCO aims at making available to final beneficiaries innovative pedagogical solutions based on the valorisation of self-training ability of organisations and nets.

All final beneficiaries will be able to use new ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies), including distance learning; they will also be conscious of their skills and will be prepared to continuous change. Their gap in basic knowledge – as identified in the research stage of the project – will be filled, and perhaps their new professional position will be more opportunely tailored to their wider skills (formally, informally and non-formally acquired).

On the one hand, referring to operators in training and orientation, employment services, local development and welfare fields, the project pursues the specific objective of identifying and defining the profile of an advisor for the valorisation of learning practices. On the other hand, enterprises will benefit from the advisor’s work by fostering their innovative ability.

VARCO will also encourage a collective improvement in the working, training and social systems involved, by attaining the Model for the Valorisation and Adaptation of non-formal and informal abilities.

Last but not least, the project will introduce new ways of institutional co-operation, like the “Equal Agreement”. The partnership will strongly attempt to create public/private networks dedicated to the development of structures and integrated tools in order to foster adaptability to change in the working place, and will fight any factors that may cause marginalisation.


VARCO general strategy takes into account the plurality of stakeholders composing the Development Partnership: entrepreneurial organizations, trade unions, training institutes, third-sector subjects, public-service associations.

Strategic course of action encompasses :
  • devising a model of co-operative relationships to pursue common objectives, in order to strengthen and qualify the local public-service system, for the social and economic development of the target territory;
  • favouring companies and workers’ flexibility in order to improve social cohesion;
  • translating “flexibility” into “new opportunity”;
  • preventing “flexibility” from resulting into “exclusion” or “marginalisation” of the weaker subjects (e.g. over-45 workers, disabled people) in the work market.

nother strategic key of action is supporting the “quality” of public-service companies’ training plans by contributing to the companies strategic choices and highlighting informal and non-formal working skills that may develop into new, up-to-date professional abilities.

Pilot intervention is structured in seven macro-phases. Macro-phases develop in a parallel and consequential way, with connected actions, each to the other functional, in order to find answers to the discrimination problems identified.

In detail, VARCO consists in the following macro-phases :
  • Preparatory phase: formalisation of the “main target group” and the “Equal Agreement” in the reference territory. Awareness raising and involvement of territorial key actors. Launch convention and two thematic workshops. Creation of territorial networks. Promotion of the “Equal Agreement”. Creation of VARCO website. Duration: 4 months.
  • Research and analysis: searching for discriminating or impairing situations in the working context. Exploring informal and non-formal learning practices. Identifying companies and possible beneficiaries. Field research (interviews, focus groups, questionnaires). Data analysis and life long learning models benchmarking. Duration: 5 months.
  • Methodology and tools: defining the “VARCO Advisor” profile and capabilities. Defining assessment methodologies and tools of companies. Defining recognition methodologies and tools of informal skills. Duration: 6 months.
  • Application: training the VARCO Advisors; final beneficiaries detection (orientation and informal skills assessment); training beneficiaries; experimental workshops with a selected group of companies; front-desk, seminars, advising; capabilities assessment and personalised training (distance learning, tutoring). Duration: 12 months.
  • Elaboration of the model: test of tools (translation into the partnership’s languages) and production of the VARCO kit (handbook, CD-Rom). Duration: 4 months.
  • Trial: test of the VARCO kit by a panel of experts and within the “Equal Agreement” (focus groups). Experimentation of system connection (questionnaires). Tools and methodology validation (by the scientific committee). Impact appraisal (questionnaires). Duration: 6 months.
  • Spreading and mainstreaming: spreading innovation and promoting the VARCO model and best practices, horizontal and vertical mainstreaming, through seminars and conventions (with the participation of local key stakeholders, companies, institutions) and definitive production of tested tools (hard and soft copies, publication on the web). Duration: 24 months.

VARCO encompasses innovative actions, which display innovation of processes, innovation of objectives and innovation of context.

Innovation of processes comprehends :
  • A new approach to training and guidance in order to increase value, adjustment and recognition of the professional skills portfolio acquired by subjects at risk of discrimination (unskilled workers, over-45 workers, disabled people, marginalised women);
  • An integrated intervention model able to yield complex solutions to the multi-dimensional problem of “change” and life long learning.
Innovation of objectives encloses :
  • A new professional figure, such as the VARCO Advisor, able to support firms and workers in recognising participation to and outcomes of the learning process.
Innovation of context is represented by :
  • A new form of institutional co-operation, such as the “Equal Agreement”, to create a network of public/private operators in the field of local services of general interest, along with further local stakeholders in order to promote a life long learning system aimed at effectively fighting against discrimination, inequality and waste of skills in the working place and in the work market.


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Annex Varco Presentation

National partners

Three partners participate to the VARCO Development Partnership:
Confservizi Lazio UIL di Roma e del Lazio San Giuseppe Moscati

VARCO’s project leader, Confservizi Lazio, is the regional association of enterprises, organisations and authorities for public services in the Region of Rome, Latium (Lazio).

As a whole, Confservizi Lazio’s associates’ annual production of services is worth over 5 billion euros, constituting a significant element in the economic landscape of Rome and Latium.

 Confservizi Lazio

The Regional Association Confservizi Lazio carries out the following activities :

- Represents and safeguards the interests of its partners towards the regional administration and all other administrations and public and private organizations, which have regional competences;

- Attends all questions relating to the Region and to economic and social policy, sustaining a concerting method and actively participating;

- Elaborates general proposals policies and proposals, representing and sustaining them at regional and local levels, mainly referring to :

         - The role of services of general interest as actor of economic and social development of the Region and as a condition of citizens’ quality of life;
         - The legislative activities and laws relating to services of general interest; and the subsequent representing activity at local and regional level;

- Promotes and implements agreements and initiatives coordination with other local autonomies representatives, through the instruments and tools the more opportune and effective;

- Designates or elects its own representatives or delegates in regional boards, committee, organizations;

- Assists the partners in each activity deemed as useful and suitable relating to services of general interests;

- Carries out activities of service and support, legal and technical, at an institutional level;

- Carries out advice, training and service activities in behalf of partners;

- Carries out activities and functions delegated from the Confederation, the National Federations, the Region and the Public Administration.

 UIL di Roma e del Lazio

UIL – Italian Labour Union – Roma e Lazio manages, at a local level, active policies of labour, mainly referring to weaker people; coordinates the politics relating to new training tools and responsibilities on vocational training; manages the strategies and politics for emerging from the black labour market, represents new jobs and new contractual models introdused by the law 30/2004.
Missions :

- To look for, with the other trade unions, setting outs and individual solutions to problems interesting all workers and aiming at realising the most possibile unity in pursuing common claims;

- To protect professional, legal, economic, social and moral interests of adherents;

- To contract all aspect of labour relation, at all levels, in order to contribute at choices coherent with the workers needs;

- To protect the workers health;

- To elevate the cultural level, the qualification and professional updating of workers;

- To strenghten the associative conscience of workers, in order to make them effectively share the problems of job activities;

- To guarantee the information wider as possibile about workers problemi and trade union action of the Federation and its sections.

 Associazione Onlus San Giuseppe Moscati

The nonprofit organization San Giuseppe Moscati deals with the organization and management of social, health and training aid centres for foreigners and Italian students of roman papal athenaeums. The organization is inspired by the figure of Giuseppe Moscati, doctor and university professor deceased in 1927 when he was just 47, blessed by Pope Paul the 6th in 1975, and hollowed by Pope Johannes Paul the 2nd in 1987. He carried out the “sublime mission of a doctor”, demonstrating how there’s no real opposition but a harmonious and deep synthesis between sciense and catholic faith.
The nonprofit organization San Giuseppe Moscati makes use of a diagnostic and prevention centre of its own, “Centro di Medicina Preventiva Giovanni Paolo II”, at the Papal Gregorian University in Rome. The Organization has arranged congresses and seminars in the field of helath prevention and social solidarity, and carries out training activities consistent with the decree law 460/1997, which regulates the nonprofit organizations of social usefulness.


Confservizi Lazio - National Coordinator
Anna Rita Marocchi 
Transnational Co-ordinator,
VARCO Via Ostiense, 106
00154 Roma, Italy
Tel : +39 06 57 99 50 56
Fax : +39 06 57 40 511
e-mail : a.marocchi@confservizilazio.it

Confservizi Lazio - Transnational secretary
Ms Michela Cea
Tel: +39 06 57995056
Fax: +39 06 5740511
E-Mail: seg.presidenza@confservizilazio.it

UIL di Roma e del Lazio
Via Cavour, 108
00184 Roma
Tel. +39 06 481661
Fax: +3906 4827250
e-mail: urlazio@uil.itreglazio@uil.it
Web site: www.uil.it/uilromalazio

Associazione Onlus San Giuseppe Moscati
Via Ventiquattro Maggio, 10
00187 Roma
Tel: +39 06 4180333
Fax: +39 06 41734986

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