The total amount spent on continuing training of workers in Italy is about EUR 5 billion a year. Total resources for the training of Italian workers made available by the European Social Fund, national laws (236/93 and 53/00) and the Sectoral Training Funds amount to about EUR 1 billion a year.

Participation of adults in CVET activities: About 1 600 000 adults participated in training initiatives in 2010. The level of participation in formal and non-formal education varies according to employment conditions, qualifications and gender.

In 2010, 33.5% of businesses organised training courses for their employees. This is slightly higher than in 2009, when the average was 32.1%, and significantly higher than the 2008 figures. It also confirms a marked propensity to investment in training by companies operating in areas of high specialization and technological content or knowledge-intensive sectors.

In 2007-13, the ESF set aside EUR 2 412 000 for their Priority Axis 1, which aims at preventing unemployment by investing in human resource development. There are approximately 544 000 recipients of these funds. Overall, the southern regions have adopted operational strategies offering lifelong training measures mainly to support a weak labour market in a critical economic situation.

The contribution of Law 236/93: The Ministry of Labour allocated EUR 150 million during 2011 to the regions and autonomous provinces to tackle the employment crisis. In addition to corporate training and sectoral and territorial plans, this funding supports initiatives that develop entrepreneurship, extraordinary intervention plans and actions aimed at supporting recently unemployed people. Furthermore, priority has been given to workers over 45 years of age, workers with an elementary school qualification or a basic education level, unemployed young people without renewed employment contracts, for reintegration into the labour market and for income support.

The role of the Sectoral Training Funds (STFs): Between January 2010 and June 2011, STFs approved more than 19,400 training plans with more than 108,000 initiatives (on average about 6 for each plan), aimed at almost 2 million participants from more than 61,000 business. 43% of the training plans approved aim at maintaining or updating skills, while 30% aim at improving enterprise competitiveness and innovation. Compared with 2009, the latest trends show a decline in the number of workers benefitting from STFs and an increase in actions to improve mobility and relocation, and outplacement (increase from 0.4% to 14.7%). This reflects the wish of companies to launch activities reallocating the available human resources.