On 19 May 2011, ISFOL (Italian Institute for the Development of Vocational Training for Workers) and Assotelecomunicazioni-Asstel organized the seminar “Internet cambia il lavoro” (How the Internet is reshaping work) at the Lower House of Parliament in Rome.

Speakers agreed that the widespread use of ICT has changed work dramatically both in the private and in the public sector. The presenters also emphasised that to maximise benefits, Internet literacy should be boosted through ad hoc training programmes.

In opening the seminar, ISFOL President, Sergio Trevisanato, reminded participants that the European Commission’s recommendations is that 75 % of Europeans should be able to use the Internet by 2015. The average Internet literacy rate in Europe is now 60 %, while in Italy it is currently 44 %.

ISFOL Director General, Aviana Bulgarelli, noted that in this new scenario skills required by the market mostly touch the areas of information, communication, problem solving and cooperation ability. Such skills, however, cannot be acquired via traditional pedagogical approaches and the current learning methodologies therefore need updating.

The United States Ambassador in Italy, David Thorne, said that the digital economy has greatly expanded employment opportunities in the US. These same results can be achieved in Italy too, he added, provided that the young are involved and that the establishment of new companies is encouraged. To illustrate, a mere 10 % domestic Internet adoption boosts the overall GDP by 1,6 %.

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