Apprenticeship contracts: will they save Italy’s future?

The law that converted the Poletti Decree (Law No. 78 of 16 May 2014) has only recently been published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale — the official journal of record of the Italian government. With this deed, Legislative Decree No. 34 of 20 March 2014 has now become a law that regulates not only fixed-term employment contracts in Italy (an aspect that has already been covered in depth by the press), but also apprenticeship contracts. We are convinced that this second aspect is worthy of an even greater in-depth focus.

Italy has, unfortunately, for some time had a negative record in terms of ‘employability’. The peninsula’s workforce on average, and in particular for certain jobs, is not well prepared — that is, the skills required by the Italian labour market are not very easy to find. In addition, companies that want to hire often do not find the personnel with the required characteristics — this is no more true when it comes to the youth population. If Italy would like to create concrete employment prospects for the next generation of workers, then they must urgently initiate a series of integration projects that bring together academic training, universities and professionals that can not only obtain but also maintain the knowledge levels and expertise in order to make them attractive candidates on a career path.

The latest data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) reveals that youth unemployment was 43 per cent in May 2014. The scary aspect of this is not just the high number of youth in Italy looking for work, but otherwise the high number of youth that are not actively looking for work. These NEET (‘not in education, employment or training’) represent an estimated 23 per cent of the Italian population under the age of 20…

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