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Italy  [1]  Context of national VET/HRD policies

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Decentralisation of training policies

Since the recognition of the exclusive jurisdiction entrusted to the Regional Authorities in the vocational training field, the aim of the central Government, through the Ministry of Labour, is to guarantee the essential levels of services to be provided throughout Italy. With regard to vocational education, the central Government, through the Ministry of Education, University and Research, also has jurisdiction in the definition of the general principles of the educational system. Researches for monitoring the decentralisation policies and the reforms at national level and at local level, have been developed under the initiative of the Ministries of Labour and Education, and the Regions. Groups of experts and technical assistance of public institutes of research have been giving an important contribution for the development of new regional training systems.

Education, vocational education and training reform

This reform is based on the Law 53/03 'Delega al Governo per la definizione delle norme generali sull’istruzione e dei livelli essenziali delle prestazioni in materia di istruzione e di istruzione e formazione professional' [Delegation to the Government to draw up general standards for education and minimum service levels in education and in vocational education and training]. The reform of the education and  vocational education and training has been built with the support of a group of experts set out by the Ministry of Education for this purpose. After the reform ISFOL and INDIRE have been charged by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour of supporting the development of the system.

Compulsory education (right/duty)

Law 53/03 introduced the 'diritto-dovere all’istruzione e alla formazione professionale' (right/duty to participate in education and vocational training) in Italy for at least 12 years, subject to legal consequences. The 'diritto-dovere' can in all cases be satisfied by obtaining a vocational qualification. Isfol  has been charged with monitoring the  regional activities for promoting the right/duty to participate in education and vocational training.

Continuing vocational education and training

In 2004 the Multi-sectoral Funds for continuing vocational training (Fondi paritetici interprofessionali per la formazione continua) started their operational activity. These funds completely redesign the CVT intervention strategies. They can be set up in different areas of the economy: industry, agriculture, the services/ tertiary sector and artisan production. The funds receive the 0,3% payroll contribution levied on employers for continuing training, which formerly went to the public authorities. The funds are managed by the social partners and supervised by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies.  In 2004, 9 of the 10 constituted funds started their activities. Isfol has been charged with supporting the observatory on continuing training established in the Ministry of Labour, which will develop guidelines for the Multi-sectoral Funds and monitor their activities.

The Reform of  apprenticeship 

This reform is based on the Law 30/03 'Delega al Governo in materia di occupazione e mercato del lavoro' [Delegation to the Government in respect of employment and the labour market]. A policy framework involving government, regional authorities and social partners has been established to:

  • foster the integration of women, young and older workers in the labour market, increasing the employment rate, developing a more efficient and transparent system for the labour supply and demand matching; 
  • guarantee rapid labour market reintegration of those who have lost their job; 
  • define a solid training system for ‘lifelong’ support.
The implementation of the reform is supported by the Legislative Decree No. 276 of 10 September 2003 'Attuazione delle deleghe in materia di occupazione e mercato del lavoro, di cui alla legge 14 febbraio 2003, n.30' [Implemention of the delegations regarding employment and the labour market contained in Law 30 of 14 February 2003]. Isfol is charged with  the monitoring of the regional system of  apprenticeship, the definition of the contents of the training, the standards for the compulsory training, and the quality of the training provided. 
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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Italy (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO