To promote the development of skills in the public sector, the public administration minister adopted in March 2023 a Directive, which aims to invest in staff training for the development of the skills that today’s public servants need to carry out their duties effectively. The Directive provides public administration organisations with methodological and operational guidelines for consolidating the planning, management and evaluation processes of training activities, with the dual purpose of increasing the effectiveness and impact of interventions for staff training and development, and optimising the use of resources available through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

Statistics and facts
The fourth edition of the INDACO-Imprese survey, the second edition of INDACO-PA and the third edition of INDACO-Adulti surveys, all conducted by the National Institute for Public Policy Analysis (INAPP), interviewed over 22 000 companies and public administration institutions/organisations and 40 000 adults of the age group 18-64, and concluded the following:

  • in 2021, 86.9% of Italian public administration invested in upgrading and improving their workforce skills. This percentage is slightly lower (-0.5%) compared to 2018. In the private sector, the companies that organised training activities for their staff were 60.3%;
  • participation in training is higher in the public sector than in the private sector: 73.5% of public employees participated in training activities organised by their institution/organisation. Participation in training activities was 61.8% among private employees and 56.4% among self-employed workers. Territorial gaps also exist in relation to training participation;
  • there is a lack of skills among public servants, mostly related with the use (oral and written) of the English language and mathematics. Lack of skills is also observed in the ability to coordinate and manage people.   

Training priorities for public administration 

  • Public servants should develop skills relevant to the green and digital transitions as these are specified by the NRRP. 
  • Initial training pathways must be established, especially for the induction period of recently hired staff.
  • Particular emphasis must be placed on the development of soft skills (teamwork, leadership, ability to adapt to change, communication skills).
  • Particular emphasis must be placed on the international dimensions of training, given the constant interaction with EU administration and other international bodies. 

Training offer in the public sector and implementation of the Directive
The Department of Public Administration organises training programmes for public servants (also through the National School of Administration and Formez PA, the Centre for services, assistance, studies and training for the modernisation of the public administration) to strengthen basic and professional skills, through various methods, including through the provision of remote training courses using the syllabus platform, which was launched when the Directive was signed. 
The implementation of the Directive is entrusted to personnel responsible for managing human resources. The promotion of training is a performance objective for managers.

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Please cite this news item as: ReferNet Italy; Italy: new regulation for improving the skills and organising training for public servants. Cedefop (2023). National news on VET

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ReferNet Italy