700,000 made jobless in Italy since 2007

Around 700,000 people in Italy have lost their jobs since the onset of the financial crisis in 2007. This figure is expected to rise to 817,000 by the end of 2014, according to a report today from Confindustria.

700,000 made jobless in Italy since 2007
Protesters took to the streets in Rome last weekend to fight against soaring unemployment. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Unemployment is also expected to rise to 12.4 percent by the end of this year and 12.7 percent by the end of next year.

The report comes as European ministers meet today at a summit in Brussels to tackle rising unemployment.

Italian prime minister Enrico Letta on Wednesday announced a €1.5 billion package to get an estimated 200,000 young Italians into work.

Unemployment in Italy reached a record high of 12 percent in April, according to a recent report by Istat, the national statistics agency.

In May the EU reported that more than 3 million people were unemployed in Italy, with 655,000 under-25s out of work.

Thousands took to the streets in Rome last weekend to protest against soaring unemployment.

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‘Crisis has hit young Italians hardest’: Kyenge

Cecile Kyenge, Italy’s integration minister and delegate for youth policies, told The Local on Tuesday that young Italians have been the worst affected by the country's harsh economic crisis and that preparing them for the workforce, whether in Italy or abroad, was "crucial" for their development.

'Crisis has hit young Italians hardest': Kyenge
Italy's integration minister and delegate for youth policies, Cecile Kyenge. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Kyenge was speaking after an event held in Rome by the National Agency for Youth (ANG) to promote Italy’s involvement in Erasmus+, an expansion of the EU’s flagship educational exchange scheme which came into force on January 1st.

Against a backdrop of soaring youth unemployment across much of the Eurozone, the European Parliament last year agreed a €16 billion investment, to be spread over the next six years, to expand the Erasmus scheme to incorporate training, education, youth and sport initiatives.

Kyenge said the scheme, which is open to those between the ages of 13 and 30, would not only equip young Italians with skills essential for the workforce, but would also give them the opportunity to broaden their horizons in other markets.

“It’s a platform for them to be able to develop competencies and will give our young people access to another world of work,” she said.

Jobless rates in Italy have reached a record high of 12.7 percent and unemployment among 15- to 24-year-olds stands at 41.6 percent.

Kyenge added that young people have “suffered most from the crisis, and not just in terms of employment.”

She said that alongside Erasmus+, Italy has a great opportunity to get involved in another EU initiative – Youth Guarantee – designed to help young people receive a “concrete offer” of either a job, apprenticeship or traineeship within four months of leaving education or becoming unemployed.

Young people not in employment, education or training are estimated to cost the EU €153bn a year.

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