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European Skills Index

The ESI measures countries’ “distance to the ideal” performance. This ideal performance is chosen as the highest achieved by any country over a period of 7 years. The ideal performance is scaled to be 100 and the scores of all countries are then computed and compared to that. Basis of the ESI are 15 individual indicators from various international datasets. The scores are calculated across countries at the indicators’ level. The scores are then averaged at the various layers and finally the Index score is formed. To illustrate, an Index (or pillar, sub-pillar etc.) score of 65 suggests that the country has reached 65% of the ideal performance. Thus, there is still 35% (100-65) room for improvement. A score of 100 corresponds to achieving the ‘frontier’, that is an aspirational target performance for that indicator.  A score of 0 corresponds to a lowest-case performance. This page shows specific information on the scores achieved by the chosen country across pillars, sub-pillars and indicators. Below, you can find a short commentary on country’s skills system performance.


2020 scores and progress since 2018

For the index as a whole, Italy ranks last in the 2020 release compared to the 29th rank in 2018 and belongs to the “low-achieving” group. It ranks 23rd in skills development, 25th in skills matching and is the bottom scorer in skills activation.

Italy ranks 23rd in skills development. It has a good share of “VET students”, ranking 12th in this indicator, but a very low “upper secondary education (and above)”, where it ranks 28th. The other indicators in this pillar are between the 16th and the 21st position.

Italy performs really poorly in skills activation in 2020, reaching the bottom of the ranking among the 31 countries. It performs among the worst in all the indicators, particularly in “early leavers from training” and “activity rates (25-54)” where it is last.

Italy ranks 25th in skills matching. It has a relatively good score for “low-waged earners (ISCED 5-8)”, where it ranks 11th, but a very low performance in “long-term unemployment”, where it ranks 29th.