OECD slams Italy over unskilled youth

OECD slams Italy over unskilled youth
Students in Rome protest against youth unemployment and cuts to the education budget in 2011. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Young Italians are low-skilled and have poor access to the labour market, while those in jobs are not encouraged to develop their careers, a new OECD report has found.

Italy’s school leavers fall far behind others around the world, with the bel paese coming markedly below average in the OECD Skills Outlook 2015.

The report collates data from a number of the OECD’s 34 member countries, finding that young Italians come below average in basic skills including literacy and numeracy. The most literary minds and the best mathematicians were found in Japan and Finland, the report found.

In Italy not enough is being done to develop people’s abilities, either in the classroom or in the world of work.

Those who are fortunate enough to overcome Italy’s youth unemployment rate – currently at 43.1 percent – have a poor chance of developing their career once they find a job, the report found.

Compared to the OECD average, young Italians have little opportunity to take on responsibility and develop skills such as problem solving.

The US topped the chart in the latter area, where Norway was praised for young people using co-operative skills. Finnish youth learn by doing more than anywhere else, while young employees in Japan have the greatest task discretion.

While young people in a number of northern European countries are in work or training, a high proportion of Italian youth fail to make it in the labour market and do not take up an alternative task.

A total of 26.1 percent of Italians aged 15 to 29 are NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training), the second-highest figure after Spain’s 26.8 percent. Comparatively, the figure is just 8.9 for the Netherlands.

Although Italy received a particularly low score in the report, the OECD said there was improvement to be made globally.

“Improving the employability of youth requires a comprehensive approach to develop the skills of all young people, integrate youth into the labour market and make an effective use of their skills at work,” the OECD said.

Jobs in Italy

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