The failure of active policies in Italy and the risks of tomorrow

During the Bologna Labor Festival, INAPP published some data on the dynamics of labor supply and demand in Italy and froze the audience.

The point of view that is taken into account is very unusual, but it has focused on an obviously empty or ignored space of analysis that has probably discovered one of the biggest flaws of our employment system, namely the way how Italians (and non-Italians) find work in Italy.

Well, as we know in the last ten years, in the time window 2011 – 2021, 56% of people, or 4.8 million jobs, found work relying on private relationship channels, friends, family , more or more runners. professional, but certainly not by the clear pathways, to have clear the authorized state pathways, which should find their maximum expression in the Employment Centers.

Indeed, it seems that Employment Centers are able to employ just over 4% of the users who refer to them: a pity, as even schools and universities do better, placing 5% of people, although obviously this is so. not its mission (neither unique nor main).

But there is more.

Going deeper, it seems that the informal system manages to place individuals with medium-high competence and specialization, thus absorbing the “high” part of the proposal, feeding a mechanism that is only falsely advantageous because in reality, escaping any structured logic, it admits. distortions of demand – supply for example on the issue of wages, as those who find work through a private network of connections are forced to negotiate the relative economic conditions independently, and this is perhaps one of the causes that they help keep wages low. even in the most structured segments of the labor market, to be clear, those widely covered by the minimum wage, within the scope of the “representative” collective agreements, but with less remuneration than other European states.

On the contrary, there is the formal / public system of employment centers, which in turn is in itself entrust the lower, less prepared and unskilled working groups that manage a job offer – and this figure is frankly incredible (!) – to low-skilled and underpaid. In practice, the INAPP has come to certify that one of the main causes that fuel poor and low-level employment comes from the public system, a real nonsense which leaves you speechless.

The phenomenon is worrying, if it is observed in the temporal perimeter of social change, ie medium to long, but it has the advantage of explaining the reason for the abused state of health of our labor market, characterized by peculiarities. dystonic as an incredible mismatch. between supply and demand. , low wages, high youth and female unemployment, unique on the international scene.

If we add to this the absence and total concentration of state resources in the processes of school, university and employment training, we are faced with the image of a divergent country: little quality work sought by people who have possibilities, even cultural. , to do so, appealing to more or less qualified channels of friendship / relationships, and large areas of low-level employment, intermediate and with public staff. In practice, the opposite of what an advanced system should do, especially when this system costs the state billions of euros a year in inefficiency.

We are faced with the ruthless photograph of a public system of active policies that has completely failed in its mission, and if the trend does not change in a few years we will be a country with a destroyed social fabric.

This umpteenth warning increases the pressure on the need to intervene urgently with a structural approach to the world of work, characterized by a clear vision of the future that we want to pursue as a nation, starting by readjusting investments in the school and university sector to increase next ten years the quality and quantity of our graduates (which are still few, no more than 20.1% compared to 38% of the European average), linking them to training courses funded throughout their working lives.

If Italy is destined to stop being a country of industrial production, it is necessary to work, and also a lot, to be a country of high quality services.

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