COMET’s lead partner, FCEI, was in Brussels during March 2024 to kick off two new projects co-funded by the European Commission through the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

Building on its experience in managing humanitarian corridors to Italy and keen to continue collaborating with diverse partners, FCEI will now lead the STEP consortium, as well as supporting the new Share QSN+ project.

STEP (Skills, Talent and Empowerment through Pathways) will focus over the next three years on developing labour mobility programmes in Italy, Spain and Ireland. FCEI will be working with a skilled group of national and international partners including another COMET partner, MPIE, to increase the scale, quality and sustainability of skills-based pathways for people in need of international protection already being piloted in Ireland and Italy, as well as to establish a new such pathway for Spain. More broadly, the project aims to distil, share and apply lessons learned to grow the European and global refugee labour mobility ecosystem in partnership with people with lived experience of displacement.

The Share Quality Standards Network has become increasingly well-known over the last three years for its work to embed, expand and refine community sponsorship programmes (CS) in Europe. The Share QSN+ project will over the next two and a half years seek to expand and diversify the base of CS actors, improve the quality of CS through the development and roll-out of training materials, and encourage transnational multi-stakeholder reflection through workshops and conferences. CS mobilization, retention and recruitment strategies will be tested through pilots in France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Ireland.

For FCEI, currently in the process of strengthening its own CS activities and already engaged in labour mobility policy design in Italy, the timing of the projects could not be better. FCEI was represented at the kick-off meetings by Giulia Gori, Fiona Kendall and Stefania Carbone. “We take seriously our responsibility to provide a meaningful contribution to an area of policy which is already having a significant impact on many lives,” said Fiona Kendall.  “We know that well-managed pilots provide a much-needed evidence base for policy change and that this work is strengthened by collaboration. The quality and diversity of the partners working on both projects holds real promise and we are very much looking forward to getting started.”