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Apprenticeships and craft jobs

Policy Instrument

Apprenticeships and craft jobs

Apprendistato e Mestieri a Vocazione Artigianale (AMVA)



01/08/2011 - 31/03/2015


No longer operational

The instrument has been absorbed in the ordinary activity concerning apprenticeship and work experiences.


Policy area

The instrument supports unemployed aged 15-35 in finding employment through a demand side intervention, based on companies' involvement in apprenticeship and work-experience. It also supports self-employment and business start-ups through generational passage in craftsmanship.

Policy goal

Helps the unemployed to obtain a job through apprenticeship contracts and train them in craft/manufacture skills to fill the skill shortages in the sector. The project aimed to promote the training and allocation of jobs for around 20,000 young unemployed people in the sector of traditional craft and manufacture. There were two areas of intervention:
1) Operational activities through: (i) the establishment of 17,913 apprenticeship contracts for hiring young unemployed; (ii) the creation of 134 workshops ("botteghe di mestiere") for on-the-job training of unemployed; (iii) up to 1,000 firm transfers (trasferimenti d'azienda) with the purpose of transferring the heritage of skills from old entrepreneurs to young entrepreneurs; and (iv) about 3,000 traineeships for NEET (young people not in education or training) living in the four Convergence regions (Campania, Puglia, Calabria, Sicily).
2) Actions to promote and strengthen the cooperation between public and private actors in the labour market.


Part of broader programme, yet with explicit focus

The instrument aims at implementing the Italian existing regulation on apprenticeship, work-experience and self-employment with a specific focus on craftsmanship and young unemployed.

Administrative level


Main responsible body

ItaliaLavoro, which since January 2017 was incorporated in Anpal Servizi.


Regions (formally responsible for Active Labour Market Policies in Italy); Provinces (formally responsible of public employment services); craftsmanship employers' associations (programme's promotion among employers and companies); training institutions (delivery of out-of-company training to apprentices); companies (hiring of apprentices and places for work experiences).


The instrument was funded through the contribution of the European Social Fund 2007-2013 (Axis "System Actions and" "Governance and Action systems") for a total amount of about €100m. The funding was allocated on the basis of public calls mainly targeted at companies.

Intended beneficiaries

Young unemployed and companies in the craft sector. The young unemployed are expected to benefit by receiving training in the sector, but mostly by obtaining a job through apprenticeship contracts or work-experiences. Also self-employment (or business start-up) is a potential benefit to the young unemployed. Companies mainly benefit from addressing skill shortages in the sector with skilled employees.


Use of labour market intelligence

The programme's contents and rationale were designed to address both the high rates of NEETs and young unemployed (aged 15-35 years) particularly in Southern regions, and the skills and qualified employees shortages in the craftsmanship sector, especially in the most traditional and high-quality manufacturing processes. For this purpose, data coming from the National Statistics System on Labour Market (managed by Istat), the annual Excelsior Survey and the PES' databases have been used to inform the instrument.

Financial schemes

Mostly subsidies based on calls (for companies) and grants (for young) for work experiences. The financial schemes for apprenticeship are those envisaged by the specific call (AMVA Apprenticeship Grant) for the employment contract (depending on employment's sector and apprentice's position).

Frequency of updates

The instrument used several management and archiving data systems for keeping track of the targets involved in the interventions and of their matching with labour demand (although it was mainly a demand-driven instrument). These systems have been used since the start-up phase and have been continuously updated in relation to the different measures (traineeship and apprenticeship) and instrument's implementation cycle steps.


There is no evidences about the need to adjust/adapt the approach during the programme's implementation.


No specific barriers to the implementation, except for the administrative burden to be managed in accordance to the public calls mechanism used for identifying the funding beneficiaries. Other barriers have been the regional laws on traineeships, which were approved during the project implementation.

Success factors

The engagement of the Ministry of Labour, ItaliaLavoro, Regions and craftsmanship's national and local employers' associations; the funding given to companies for offering apprenticeship and work-experiences; the targeting of the programme to young unemployed (aged 15-35 years) with a high level of formal education; the focus, of some actions, on areas with very high rates of young unemployment (namely Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Sicily).


The main indicators, as presented in public communications, are the numbers of: companies involved; vacancies made available; hired apprentices; activated work-experiences (with the form of internships); and young who applied for the different programme's activities. There has not been public evidence of regularly monitored progress, as the policy instrument's progress monitoring evidence were only for ItaliaLavoro internal use.


Very innovative

The integration, or at least the coordination, in one programme of measures aimed at strengthening companies, supporting employment and developing job-related skills; the focus, through the programme on promoting both on-the-job training (mainly with apprenticeship) and youth employment; the priority given to demand-side measures (that is measures supporting companies and employers in giving young unemployed an employment opportunity); and the attention to employment in the so-called "Botteghe di Mestiere", that is in workshops belonging to very traditional and historical sectors of Italian craftsmanship.


Evidence of effectiveness

No formal evaluations of the instrument have been carried out. Only output data are available for all the measures, while for internship's (work-experiences) data on beneficiaries' employment are available (700 out of a total of 2,478 successfully concluded turned into employment contracts). At the end of the intervention in March 2015, the following outputs have been achieved:
- A consolidated network of development policies with labour and training policies, implemented through about 10,000 contacts, including 4,250 operational collaborations across the country.
- A methodological and operational model, developed to support the process of skills certification acquired by young people through traineeships
- 17,525 young people in apprenticeship, I and II level (requests received 31,587)
- 139 Craft Shops (Botteghe di Mestiere) realized, involving a total of 1,011 companies and hosting 3,226 traineeships (24,201 candidatures received)
- 48 firm transfers realized
- 1,935 traineeships for young graduates NEET enrolled (20,585 applications received by NEET; 6,916 hosting candidate companies). The instrument reached and exceeded the planned quantitative targets and the beneficiaries were largely those expected. The instrument has been very successful among both companies and young unemployed, who have translated into a number of applications significantly higher than the availability of grants provided for by the instrument. The most relevant unexpected benefit was that within the so-called "Botteghe di Mestiere", more than 50% of trainees had an employment opportunity at the end of the traineeship.

Engagement of stakeholders

The national legislation on apprenticeship (modified in 2015) confirms the key-roles of the Ministry of Labour, Regions and Autonomous Provinces and social partners at both national and local level. The same is for companies and, in general, for employers as well as for training institutions (depending on apprenticeship's Type). The existing regulation of work-experiences (in various forms) and of self-employment/business start-up support gives Regions and State the responsibility of promoting, programming and funding these measures. In addition, craftsmanship has a solid and long tradition of how to be attractive for young people, especially in the manufacturing sector, where it is harder to find employees.


Easily transferable

The idea of offering companies and employers a combination of measures for hiring apprentices and supporting work-experiences for young unemployed (also with high levels of formal qualification) is quite transferable in itself. This is also true for the support, mainly through incentives, to self-employment or business' start-ups in craftsmanship. The programme is easier to transfer in contexts where apprenticeship is a consolidated and ordinary way for increasing youth employment. In fact, one of the instrument's aim was also to promote the use of apprenticeship, whose diffusion was very limited due to its poor knowledge. The subsidies allocated through the public call intended to support apprenticeship's use and diffusion.


The instrument with the same name and structure is no longer operating, but another national programme (called Fixo, also managed by Anpal Servizi, the former Italia Lavoro) is now under implementation with the aim of developing apprenticeships (as reformed in 2015), as well as the Dual System and the curricular alternation in regional VET (as introduced by the Law 107/2015). A relevant difference is that FIXO is not focused on craftsmanship, but on all economic sectors in general. The so called "Botteghe di Mestiere" have been refinanced (now "Botteghe di Mestiere e dell'Innovazione"), with an extension of the economic sectors and professional profiles, and will end at the end of 2017.