Cedefop’s thematic country review (TCR) on apprenticeships has started in Italy. The Ministry of Employment hosted the launch event organised in collaboration with Cedefop on 6 July in Rome.

The event discussed the focus of the review in Italy. It started with a debate about what definition of apprenticeship the review should focus on, especially considering the peculiar apprenticeship system in Italy, at least compared to other countries in Europe. Participants invited by the Ministry of Employment exchanged views on what type of apprenticeship to investigate within the scope of the review among those regulated by the national legal framework.

Cedefop and the Ministry of Employment suggested that the focus of the review in Italy should be 'type 1 apprenticeship' as it is informally called in the country, rather than occupation-oriented or higher education apprenticeships. With type 1 apprenticeship, 15 to 25 year-olds can achieve educational qualification: a vocational qualification or diploma, a high-school diploma or a certificate of high-level technical specialisation. This appears to be a political priority for Italy and it has been significantly modified by the latest labour market reform (article 43 of legislative decree 81/2015).

The challenge is to review what does not exist yet, but seems promising for the country in terms of youth employment and training opportunities. By understanding the system’s strengths and weaknesses, and the challenges at stake, the review would support creation of a quality apprenticeship system for 15 to 25 year-olds, which would organically integrate, in a 'dual system', learning at school and learning at work.

Rather than a theoretical study, Cedefop intends to work closely with practitioners, companies, apprentices and those who work on apprenticeship on a day-to-day basis.

The meeting was chaired by the Ministry of employment represented by Raffaele Ieva, Director of DG Training and project coordinator Valentina Curzi, together with Cedefop’s Antonio Ranieri (Head of Department for Learning and Employability) and Lisa Rustico (expert) who are leading the project for the European institution. A group of 20 people gathered, including stakeholders from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Employment, ISFOL, employers’ associations (Confindustria, Confcommercio, ABI), trade unions (CGIL), the regions (Tecnostruttura), and training institutes (ENAIP).

Similar apprenticeship review events were held in Greece on 13 July and in Slovenia in June.