European and national policies on Vocational Education and Training (VET) need to be informed by sound and internationally comparable statistical evidence. The VET country statistical overviews are concise, descriptive and user friendly statistical reports. For each country, they quantify and compare key aspects of VET and lifelong learning. The selection is based on the indicators' policy relevance and their importance in achieving the Europe 2020 objectives.

VET indicators for Italy for the last available year
Index numbers (EU=100)

NB:   The index numbers are derived from data summarised in the table. Data in the table have been rounded to one or two decimal places. The calculation of index numbers is instead based on not rounded data.

Italy’s performance on a range of indicators selected to monitor progress in VET and lifelong learning across the European Union (EU) is summarised below. The chart compares the situation in Italy with that of the EU, based on the most recent data available (this differs by indicator). Data in the chart are presented as an index where the EU average equals 100. If the index for a selected indicator for Italy is 100, then its performance equals the EU average. If the index is 90, its performance is 90% of (or 10% below) the EU average. If the index is 200, Italy’s performance is twice (or 200%) the EU average. For some indicators, such as early leavers from education and training, a country is performing better if its score is below that of the EU average.

Data on which the index is calculated are presented in the table, which also shows developments over time. A technical definition of each indicator is provided in the annex.

Key points

Access, attractiveness and flexibility

Italy scores highly compared with the EU average for participation in IVET: the share of IVET students as a percentage all upper secondary students is higher (55.8%) than the EU average (47.3%) The share of upper secondary IVET with direct access to tertiary education (80.7%) is also well above the EU average (66.7%) (data for 2015).

On the other hand, data for 2015 show that Italy has fewer adults involved in lifelong learning (8.3%) than the EU as a whole (10.8%). At 8.3% Italy is well below the average target of 15% set by the Education and training 2020 strategic framework, but participation of adults in lifelong learning has increased recently (by 2.1 percentage points between 2013 and 2016). Older adults, those with a low level of educational attainment, and unemployed adults are less likely to engage in lifelong learning compared to the EU average.

The incidence of, and participation in, employer-sponsored training – derived from the 2010 CVTS data – still stand below the EU averages. In 2010, 36% of employees participated in CVT courses compared with 38% in the EU, and 56% of employers reported providing training compared with the EU average of 66%. Differences in employee participation in on-the-job training are more pronounced: 11% for Italy compared with 20% for the EU as a whole. The percentage of individuals who wanted to train, but did not do so is also relatively large in Italy (17.8%) compared with the EU (9.5% in 2011).

Skill development and labour market relevance

Graduates from short-cycle VET programmes account for a small percentage of all first time graduates at tertiary level (0.8%), which is well below the EU average (9.0%). Enterprise expenditure on CVT courses as percentage of total labour cost also shows a large difference: Italy scores 0.4% compared with 0.8% for the EU (data from CVTS 2010). Italian upper secondary IVET students learn 1.4 foreign languages on average, while the EU average is one language (in 2015). Other indicators from the 2015 EWCS reveal that the percentage of workers with skills matched to their duties is higher than the EU average (65% compared to 58%).

The employment rate for IVET graduates (aged 20-34) at ISCED 3-4 (64.1%) is lower than the EU average (78.1%). Their employment rate is 8.4 percentage points higher than for graduates from general education (above the EU average premium of 5.7). Their employment rate is also 16.0 percentage points higher than that for graduates with lower-level qualifications (but this premium is below the EU average of 23.4). All these employment figures relate to 2016 and exclude young people in further education and training.

Overall transitions and labour market trends

In this section all data refer to 2016 unless otherwise stated.

Comparative indicators for early leavers from education and training (13.8% in Italy, 10.7% in the EU), the unemployment rate for 20 to 34 year-olds (21.5% in Italy, 11.8% in the EU), and the NEET rate for 18 to 24 year-olds (26.0% in Italy, 15.2% in the EU) are all relatively high for Italy. The percentage of early leavers decreased from 18.6% in 2010 to 13.8% in 2016, reaching the national target of 16% but still above the EU target of 10%. Both the unemployment rate for 20 to 34 year-olds and the NEET rate are less favourable in 2016 than in 2010, in contrast with the EU as a whole. The employment rate of recent graduates decreased by 4.9 percentage points between 2010 and 2016. At 52.9%, it is much lower than the EU average (78.2%).

The share of 30 to 34 year-olds who have completed tertiary-level education is much lower than the EU-average (26.2% versus 39.1%). It is below the Europe 2020 average target (40%) but has reached the national target (26-27%). Between 2010 and 2016, this share has increased by 6.3 percentage points.

Score on VET indicators in Italy and in the EU, 2010,
last available year and recent change

EU refers to EU-28, unless otherwise specified. Arrows ↗ or ↘ signal a positive or negative change. Arrow → indicates: no change.

(A) UOE back reconstruction of 2010 values based on ISCED 2011 not yet available. (B) AES 2011, used as proxy for 2010 baseline. (C) 2014 b flags in Eurostat online tables ignored on the basis of other relevant Eurostat metadata. (D) Forecast made in 2016. (E1) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for NL. (E2) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for EL, ES, NL, PL, RO. (E3) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for IT, NL. (E4) Based on 23 countries (missing: DK, EL, HR, IT, PT), with partial information for IE and FR. (E5) Based on 23 countries (missing: DK, EL, HR, IT, PT), with partial information for IE and FR. (E6) Based on 28 countries, with partial information for DK, EL, NL. (E7) Based on 25 countries (missing: HR, IT, UK), with partial information for BE, CZ, DK, DE, EE, EL, LU, NL, PL, SE. (E8) Based on 25 countries (missing: IE, FR, UK), with partial information for BE, EL, LU. (E9) Based on 26 countries (missing: IE, UK), with partial information for DK, DE. (E10) Based on 28 countries. (b) Break after 2010, therefore baseline data not included. (u) Eurostat: ‘low reliability’. (z) Eurostat: ‘not applicable’. (e) Eurostat: ‘estimated’.

Country-specific report details

Country report type


Statistical overview on VET - Italy - 2017 edition

EN 186.38 KB

Annex 1 – Short descriptions of indicators and additional notes

EN 74.35 KB

Annex 2 – Reading the Country statistical overviews

EN 39.5 KB

Annex 3 – 2017 Masterfile Country statistical overviews

EN 488.58 KB