Apprenticeship for young people: the Italian dual system works!

Apprenticeship for young people: the Italian dual system works!

After an initial phase, the Italian Government is funding 80 million Euros with the Budget Law for 2018 (Law 205/2017), plus an additional 50 million Euros for the current year alone, for improving the dual system. An important resource not only for young people, but only for SMEs and employment.

A radical change of path has characterized the governmental activities in recent years in terms of training and employment proposals for young people. The dual system allows a collaboration between training institutions and firms, in order to make students learn through the “culture of doing”, namely practical experiences. The experimentation is centered on the Ielp (Professional Education and Training) system provided by the vocational training centers (Cfp). It represents a great opportunity to implement an integrated training model which favors the creation of an ongoing relationship between training and work, reducing the gap between skills acquired in the academic field and those required by the labor market.

Comparing the same amount of time in two different years, 2016 and 2017, the apprenticeship has seen an increase in the activation of work contracts by 21.3 percent in the last year. With 326,062 employment contracts launched in 2017, the apprenticeship in Italy returned to overall growth, highlighting a consistence companies’ preference toward this type of contract. The growth of the apprenticeship is taking place simultaneously as the strengthening and widening of the professional training offered by Ielp. Moreover, the significant numbers of manufacturing firms in the national economy requires that the training course could assure how to guarantee an increasing level of professional skills and then increasing rates of job placement.

“More than 2000 young people – confirms Valentina Aprea, Regional Councilor for Education – from Lombardy have been awarded of a contract thanks to the first and third level apprenticeship”. Also, Tuscany reported a positive result, in fact, in the whole 2017, there were 28,097 new apprenticeships contracts with an increase of 19.3 percent over the same period of 2016.

In the first year of experimentation, the Training Centers has interviewed 3,250 companies concerned, of which 66% actively collaborated in the implementation of apprenticeship paths for the attainment of the technical qualification and professional diploma. In motivating the project, 54% of the companies involved replied that it was a great opportunity to form a young resource and the level of satisfaction registered by the actors involved (operators, companies, students, families) is high. On a scale of 1 to 4, on average it is above 3%. Furthermore, 98 % of them recognize the Dual System as a great chance for the growth of training centers and young people. The experimentation confirms that it can be done: work and study improves employability.

Many regions have seized this great opportunity. They are trying to enhance that abovementioned learning tool that offers young people the chance to develop skills that can be immediately spent on the labor market, within the training courses. “Apprenticeship is no longer considers a series B – confirmed Paola Vacchina, national president of Forma-indeed. However, it is experienced by young people and families as a great occasion. Above all, thanks to the Dual, it begins to be present in Regions in which historically it was not known.”

In conclusion, we can develop a project with a common goal: offering all young people the same opportunities; and we intend to enhance this learning tool which offers young people the opportunity to develop useful skills. Apprenticeship has the potential to create a workforce that is fit for the future.