Young Italian workers are among worst paid in Europe

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Italy: no country for entry-level workers. Photo: Kailash Gyawali/Flickr
12:13 CET+01:00
Italians starting their professional careers earn much less than their peers in other western European countries.

At least that's according to a report by the UK-based business adviser, Willis Towers Watson.

The 2016 Global 50 Remuneration Planning Report ranked the average salaries paid for full-time, entry-level jobs - those usually aimed at recent graduates or people who have recently finished specific training courses.

Among the 15 western European nations ranked, Italy came last – paying an average gross salary of €27,400 a year.

The figure marks a stark contrast with Switzerland, which ranked in first place, paying an average pre-tax salary of a whopping €83,600.

Italy's closest counterparts were Spain, where entry-level workers can expect to take home €30,700, and France, where average earnings were slightly better at €33,400.

After the Swiss, the Danes were the next most handsomely paid – taking home an average of €51,400 a year. Germany and Norway came fourth and fifth, respectively, with average salaries of €45,800 and €45,800 a year.

Italy's inability to pay its young workers competitive wages is one of the key factors driving the 'brain-drain'.

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Every year thousands of skilled Italians leave the country, enticed by the higher wages and better opportunities on offer abroad.

But it's not all doom and gloom. Those who stay – and manage to find a job - see their earnings increase considerably as their career progresses, according to the report.

In terms of net salaries paid to workers in middle-management positions, Italy was ranked a more respectable 11th place out of the 15 countries – with average gross salaries of €70,900 per year.

That's higher than wages paid for similar roles in northern European powerhouses Sweden (€68,300) and Finland (€64,100).

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