VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview

Italy  []  Summary

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VET/HRD research has an important impact in the country. The press often reports news from research reports following events to present them.

In the period concerned by this report major reforms of the education and training system have been approved and the decrees for their application are going to be approved (Law 53/03). Decentralisation of training policies (since 2001) continues to produce new regional VET systems. Many researches are monitoring the decentralisation policies and the reforms at national level and at local level, and public institutes of research (ISFOL) are giving an important contribution to the development of compulsory education (right/duty) and to the apprenticeship (reformed by the Law 30/03).

The continuing training system has been completely redesign, concerning intervention strategies, with the setting up of the Multi-sectoral Funds for continuing vocational training, which started their activity in 2004. 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.

National VET/HRD policies in the past 5 years have been deeply influenced by the EU guidelines on lifelong learning, the Lisbon, Bruges and Copenhagen process. The activity of Cedefop (Europass) and the EU certification transparency strategy has deeply influenced VET/HRD policies. The influence of EU action is more evident considering the ESF programming period 2000-2006, including the definition of the National and the Regional Operational Programmes, which have financed most of the VET/HRD researches used for the monitoring and the development of the reforms at national and regional level. The Research Framework Programme has a minor effect on the production of VET research as the projects presented and approved under the Programme include very few subjects which can affect VET/HRD policy. 

The themes and issues of research projects, apart from the ones referring to the monitoring and development of VET reforms, are linked to the quality of training, guidance and e-learning.

VET research is undertaken through the activity of public institutes of research and universities. The most important are ISFOL, under the control of the Ministry of Labour, and INDIRE (under the Ministry of Education). Research is also carried out by centres established by the social partners or by the private sector (foundations and private universities). Public research (carried out in public institutes of research and universities) related to VET/HRD is financed by the EU (mainly ESF), the State through Ministries, Regions and Provinces.

The assessment of research (projects conducted by research centres related to the Ministry of Education, University and Research ) is assured through the action of a committee (Comitato di Indirizzo per la valutazione della Ricerca - CIVR). The CIVR is currently working on the evaluation of 18.500 research products through the activity of 157 experts divided in 20 panels, reflecting the areas of research defined by the D.M. 249/2000. The results of this evaluation will be published in June 2006.

A new portal of Italian research was launched in December 2005 by the Ministry of Education, University and Research. This portal shows to the citizens and the experts how the entire Italian research systems works, its objectives and activities and the actors of research. 

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Italy (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO