The capacity to adapt to the evolving and newly identified needs of the migrant and resident population and companies constituted the main progress and learning of the MILMA project. The initial hypothesis was severely put to the test by the reality: the migrants and unemployed persons were of a different level than initially presumed, the companies which it was planned to involve were not those with whom the project worked, (the new companies had real and urgent needs in employment) and the city changed its approach to the management of the project, by internalising all its functions in order to make the project central to the management of the city and to gain the experience of directly managing such a large project.
What has happened with the project since its end date?
The City of Fuenlabrada has financed several more Business Challenge Laboratories (BC Labs) which evolved into - "Experimental Employment and Inclusion Teams" (ETEIs) continuing with the methods developed during the MILMA project, as they were so successful. The Gardening Assistant lab took place in the first quarter of 2022, from 09/02/2022 to 20/05/2022. It lasted 390 hours with 15 participants of whom 2 were immigrants. The participants of a previous Gardening Assistants lab, who were employed by a gardening company, testified that the training gave them self-assurance, the capacity to see that they had competences and a strengthening of their social role in the group.
The Health Institution Warden Lab took place from 15/11/2021 to 08/03/2022 and lasted 405 hours. 15 participants got involved in the training of whom 6 were immigrants. A participant of an earlier Lab said, that he had spent some time in a hospital with a close member of his family and wanted to be able to work in that context. The Lab allowed him to gain the fundamental elements of assisting people in hospital. He said he has never been so satisfied to be at work.
The City of Fuenlabrada is financing 2 more Labs in the summer of 2022, light floor installation and catering. For both these labs the city training organisation CIFE has the close collaboration of small private companies who are willing to employ trained personnel, as well as the professional organisation of floor installations Asociaciones de Pavimentos.
The legacy of MILMA goes further. At the EU level the experience in employment and integration of migrants has provoked a lot of interest. Since October 2021 the city has been collaborating with URBELAC, a network in the field of inclusion of inclusion of migrants and refugees, concentrating on urban poverty and jobs and skills in the local urban economy. Fuenlabrada is also present since January 2022 in the International City Partnership, which works on the integration of migrants and refugees.
In addition MILMA was presented in different forums:
- the Forwork Project – good practices in the economic inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers
- URBACT – urban transfer networks
- Migrations and interculturality – debate and discussion laboratories,
- RIVAS PLUS EMPLOYMENT – good practices in the field of social inclusion,
- FORMANDO FUTURO – the 1st international salon for employment,
- INCLUCITES – presentation of the MILMA project to Livadia, the mentee city of Fuenlabrada during a visit,
- MILMA was presented during a visit to Spain of Moroccan civil servants and media professionals,
- CEMR Project « EU dialogue, local solutions » Migration and inclusion guideline : Spanish and Italian actions.
In addition, the MILMA heritage has allowed Fuenlabrada to participate in 2 other EU projects:
The INCLUCITIES project (Oct 2020 – May 2023) aims at improving the integration of third-country nationals in middle-sized cities through city-to-city cooperation. Eight cities, with varying degrees of integration-related experience, and their national associations of local and regional government participate in the project, led by CEMR and funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of the European Union.
The MUST a Lab Project (Jan. 2022 – Jan 2025) is co-financed through the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. The partners involved are: Stad Mechelen, Comune di Modena, Livadia, Viena, Pont-de-Claix and Fuenlabrada. The Project introduces a new way of developing public policies. The objective is to encourage the participation of the different social agents, ensuring the participation of the immigrant population in the review, renewal and maintenance of the city's integration strategies and policies.
MILMA has done a very solid piece of work on the life stories of the participants. Many of them have been registered and some are published. They show the force developed by the migrants to survive very difficult moments, and how they have become users and actors of the city Fuenlabrada, convincingly showing that they have not come to profit from the social system, but to work and assume their own futures.
Los Arcos & CIFE investments
The MILMA project also financed the improvement and adaptation of the Los Arcos & CIFE buildings, used to train the participants. The new source of financing allowed the development of several specialised areas; hospital wardens, catering and restaurant service etc. At present the buildings have evolved and are still used for trainings activities, but also for courses for immigrants to obtain Spanish nationality, Spanish courses for immigrants and refugees, conciliation space for working women (during the evening low-income women who have no family support can leave their children there to go to work). The Municipal Housing Institute also functions in one of the buildings, to help people, mostly from the low-income population and immigrants, to look for accommodation, inform them about economic support for renting and help them with the application form.