Italian government focuses on school reform to address job ‘mismatch’

Italian government focuses on school reform to address job ‘mismatch’ |

The Italian government has pledged to reform the school system as young people are not acquiring the skills needed by Italian companies, making hiring even more difficult.

There is a a “dramatic mismatch” between labour supply and demand, which has doubled compared to the period before the pandemic, said Giovanni Brugnoli, the vice-president of Confindustria, the Italian employers’ federation and national chamber of commerce.

Indeed, youth unemployment in Italy stands at 22.3%, among the highest in Europe.

According to data from Excelsior and Unioncamere, one in two companies (46%) cannot find adequate hires, an increase from 25% before the pandemic.

Companies are estimated to lose €38 billion a year, while 3.8 million new employees will be needed in five years.

“The great challenge is to orient, personalise and above all to reform: we have to build a school that is capable of understanding where the world of education should go, and that is capable of offering opportunities”, MEP Paolo Borchia (Lega/ID) told EURACTIV.

The government led by Giorgia Meloni (Fratelli d’Italia/ECR), together with deputy prime ministers Matteo Salvini (Lega) and Antonio Tajani (Forza Italia/EPP), is aiming at a major reform of technical and vocational education.

“Unfortunately, schooling at the moment is still unable to offer adequate qualifications. We need to realise specialisations that do not exist today and overcome the current imbalance between high schools and technical institutes”, Borchia explains, referring to the fact that technical institutes are often regarded as second-class schools.

Among his proposals, Borchia suggests recruiting teachers directly from companies and promoting summer jobs for students so they enter the work world as soon as possible.

“We need to open the school to the business world; their connection is fundamental. The Italian education and training system must get used to being more flexible to intercept employment market trends coming from different directions”, Borchia added.

Employment, in general in Italy, is following a positive trend (60.9%), Istat data shows. In March, for the third consecutive month, the employment rate rose 1.3% year-on-year.

“Stable contracts are increasing, and employment is growing”, commented Prime Minister Meloni, adding that the executive intends to continue to give “concrete answers to get the national economy moving again”.

The Istat data come just days after the approval of the new labour measures, strongly criticised by the unions and the opposition. (Federica Pascale |

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