Permanent National Information System for occupational needs
The instrument, implemented by Isfol (the National Institute for Employees' Training, now National Institute for Public Policies Analysis) and Istat (the National Institute for Statistics), provides data and information about professions' contents, quantitative relevance, short and medium term trends, characterising competences and vacancies. The available data and information are targeted to the general public, but also to policies' decision makers.
Facilitating the matching of demand and supply and sharing useful information with education/vocational training and labour market stakeholders and job seekers via an online platform. The system provides qualitative and quantitative information about economic trends, labour market forecasting and professional trends and provides information about the features of the so-called "professional unit" (unità professionali), professional needs, classified into professional units, linked to labour market trends; mid-term professional needs stimulated by new trends in sectoral economies, mid-term economic trends at the national level; economic trends at the local level; and employment forecasts for professional categories, both nationally and locally.
The instrument is a part of a more general programme aimed at integrating all the different institutional databases and regular surveys concerning occupational, skills/competences and labour market trends and dynamics. The underpinning idea is that from the integration of the existing different sources, especially if diffused through a dedicated and easy to use website, a relevant added value may arise for citizens, employed and unemployed, guidance and counselling professionals, and decision makers in general.
Aim of policy instrument
Main responsible body
INAPP (National Institute for Public Policies Analysis, once ISFOL)
The other involved stakeholders implement surveys, research, studies and analysis, which are integrated by INAPP within the Sistema Informativo sulle Professioni and made visible through its dedicated website. The stakeholders are: Istat (National Institute of Statistics); INPS (National Institute for Social Security); INAIL (National Institute for Safety at Work); Unioncamere (the national network of the Chambers of Commerce); the Ministry of Education, University and Scientific Research; the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies; and the association of temporary work agencies. INAPP itself bestows the outputs of its recurring analyses and surveys on professions, occupation and labour markets to the System.
No figures on the amount of the System's committed funds are available. The source of the System funding is the Ministry of Labour and the ESF for INAPP, while for the other stakeholders (data/information suppliers), the Systems' funding comes from funds they receive for their institutional activities.
The intended beneficiaries of the instrument are, in general, all those who are interested in the instrument's contents concerning the Italian system of professions and jobs. This means that the intended beneficiaries include: individuals (students, employees; unemployed, employed) aimed at knowing in detail the skills/competences and trends of a specific profession/job; education and training providers, aimed at knowing the most demanded skills/competences in the labour markets; guidance, counselling and job-matching operators, aimed at having updated information on professional trends and dynamics for giving job-seekers a better service; policies' decision makers, aimed at having the availability of updated data/evidences in order to define more informed programmes and interventions.
Use of labour market intelligence
Several types of tools/platforms are used: sample extensive surveys implemented by INAPP (on professions; on skills' needs; on occupational forecasts), by Unioncamere (companies' short-term hiring forecasts), by Istat (employees' stock by "Professional Unit"); data-bases on wages (INPS) and occupational accidents/illness (INAIL); labour vacancies from the Public Employment Services information system and from temporary work agencies; data on universities' degrees in relation to professions/jobs. The integration of all these sources is the added-value of the System and of its presentation tool (the website).
INAPP's operations within the initiative are paid through the funds it receives from the Ministry of Labour for its overall activities. In addition, INAPP also uses European Union Funds it receives from the Ministry of Labour. Other partners' operations are funded by their ordinary budgets. No public procurement call is made for funding the system.
Frequency of updates
The System is based on different and generally large-scale surveys, researches and data-bases; this means that their updating occurs in accordance to the implementation or updating of each source and (with some exception) not in "real time". For example, the INAPP sample survey on professions (involving 16,000 employees all over Italy) had the last edition in 2013 and the next one will be in 2018 (with outputs in 2019); the Skills' Needs Audit (a sample survey involving 35,000 companies) had its last edition in 2015 and the next one will be by the end of 2017; the Skills' Needs Anticipation survey covered until now a list of sectors (Green Economy and ICT are under implementation) and two new sectors will be included in 2018.
During the instrument implementation the approach has not been adapted/adjusted but progressively improved with the inclusion, among the partners/stakeholders, of new subjects with their data, information, surveys etc. This has been made the coverage of the Italian professions/jobs' system more detailed and complete, and updated the contents of the System.
The main barrier to the implementation, largely overcome, is the voluntary basis of the cooperation among the various stakeholders/partners that provide data/information to the System. In fact, net of INAPP and Istat, all the network's partners have the production of the data/info they pass to the system in their mission, but they do not have the obligation to pass them to the System. This sometimes caused delays in the transmission of data/info by the partners to INAPP and Istat with the consequence of the System not being promptly updated.
The main factor improving the success of the instrument was the integration of data/info and having different sources using the Istat National Classification of Professions (CP2011) as communication protocol.
The indicators used for measuring the progress of the instrument are: the number of professions/jobs fully included in the system (also as a rate of the total number of professions/jobs mapped in Italy); the number of visit to the System's website; the number of stakeholder/partners cooperating in the regular feeding of the System (also as a rate of the universe of those entitled); and the updating of the data/information included in the System. The instrument's progress with reference to these indicators is regularly measured by INAPP as the System's responsible agency.
The instrument is innovative for three main reasons: the integrated use of different sources on professions/jobs in Italy; the use of a dedicated website for presenting and making visible the System's contents as a tool; and the scope, structure and methodological profile of some of the surveys the System is based on (very extensive and relevant for numbers of employees, companies or experts involved depending on the survey's focus).
Evidence of effectiveness
Due to the instrument's characteristics and objectives (a support-decision system), its effectiveness and impact are not assessed. With reference to the most relevant instrument's progress indicators, the main figures are as follows: about 800 so-called "professional units" are described in the system using more than 300 variables; and for all the Italian Regions/Autonomous Provinces and all the economic sectors (as classified by Istat), updated occupational forecasts are available. The benefits and beneficiaries largely correspond to those expected. No relevant unexpected benefits or costs derived so far from the instrument's implementation.
Engagement of stakeholders
The monitoring, mapping and forecasting of professions/jobs contents, skills and changes at national level is one of the institutional tasks of INAPP, a task the institute has to perform by law, which is funded every year. As for the other stakeholders, the inputs they give to the System come from activities (surveys, data-bases and administrative archives production and management, researches) they have to perform in accordance with their institutional missions.
The contexts where the instrument could be most successfully transferred are those with a labour markets' size and articulation comparable to Italy's and with different (and many) institutional subjects involved in the production and diffusion of data/information on professions/jobs. The System elements which could best be transferred are: the extensive surveys' designs and methodologies (involving employees and companies); the communication protocol, based on the Italian classification of professions, used for integration different sources of data and information on professions/jobs; and the website's (tool) structure, feeding and mode of operating.
The instrument is going to continue in the next years, because its updating and functioning is part of the missions of all the subjects who are involved in its implementation and of INAPP and Istat. The widening of partners'/stakeholders' network, on one side, and the inclusion of the Public Administrations' professions, on the other side, are the two most relevant developments expected for the System in the short time.