The work is there, we can’t find who to hire. The companies’ appeal: “Made in Italy at risk”

SOS workforce: the share of unavailable workers has gone from 40.3% to 47.9% in the last year. Confartigianato: in the meantime 1.7 million young people are not studying and are not looking for work

Rome, 20 August 2023 – It is one of Italy’s most urgent challenges. Not to be missed for any reason: cover all the job demand there is with trained professionalism. And which instead often remains unanswered. “We are risking the future of Made in Italy “, denounces Luigi Granelli , president of Confartigianato . The most representative association of widespread enterprise gives a wake-up call to the country stunned by the heat and resentful of the pangs of inflation. The myriad of companies featured in the annual report on the labor market – an elaboration by Confartigianato based on Unioncamere-Anpal data – confirms the existence of an unacceptable brake on the growth of staff and turnover. For explicit ” lack of candidates ” in 32.4% of cases, or for ” inadequate preparation ” in 10.8% of the positions up for grabs.

If in July 2022 the share of “difficult to find” workers out of the total expected hires was stable at 40.3%, the July 2023 data even signals a worsening: those who cannot be found are 47.9% (+7.6% year on year). In practice, for every job assigned there is another that perhaps remains vacant for a long time . A drama in a country that still suffers from unemployment at 7.9% (Istat data from June 2023 which among young people soars to 22.9%), and this goes beyond the historical reasons that motivate this very compressed scenario: from training bottlenecks to salary dynamics.

Business concerns affect all sectors, from the more traditional ones to digital and hi-tech activities. In particular, the greatest difficulties in finding personnel emerge among technicians specialized in metal carpentry (70.5% of failed hires), in construction (69.9%), in the management of plants and machinery (56.6%). It is not enough. There is no macro area, region or sector that signals a countertrend. But despite the overall stability of the phenomenon, some data are striking.

Due to a lack of candidates, the productive fabric of Trentino Alto Adige has problems finding 61 workers for every hundred that would be needed for its development. The ranking of unobtainable workers also pushes Valle D’Aosta onto the podium (57.1% of professional skills missing for every hundred needed) and Umbria (54.6%). Then gradually all the other regions (see accompanying table) with Emilia-Romagna fifth at 52.7%, Veneto seventh (51.4%), Marche eighth (49.7%), Liguria ninth ( 49.6%), Tuscany is tenth (49.5%), up to Lazio , last in the ranking with a consolation flag: here the workers who are difficult to find are only 40.8%. Another critical element: the regional differences in the comparison with summer 2022 reach 10-11 points in some cases. The progressive shortage of labor that has emerged in the last twelve months particularly affects Abruzzo (+11.5%), Calabria (+10.9%), Liguria (+10.8%), Puglia (+10.5%), Trentino South Tyrol (+10.3%). The comparison by macro areas then confirms that the North-East is worse off than all (53.7%, from 47.2%). An inevitable outcome, given the homogeneity of the trend, given the production record on a geographical basis.

“The shortage of manpower – continues Granelli – has become one of the biggest problems for our companies. We are at a paradox: there is work, there is a lack of workers. And, in the meantime, 1.7 million young people between 15 and 29 do not study, do not train, do not look for work . At this rate, we are risking the future of Made in Italy. This is why the debate on minimum wages and poor work must expand to urgently address the country’s real problem: the creation of quality work”. According to the number one of Confartigianato, “we need an economic and cultural policy operation that brings the school to the world of work , to train young people with a reform of the school orientation system that relaunches professional institutes and technical institutes, invests in skills starting with digital ones and focuses on school-work alternation and dual and professionalizing apprenticeships . Young people must be taught that there are opportunities in business, adequately remunerated, to realize talent and ambitions”. The most immediate way “to build the future”, insists Granelli. With a combined offer of higher salaries, smart working and welfare corporate.

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