Although adult participation in training is increasing in Italy, the country remains behind both the European average and the target for adult participation in lifelong learning, according to the analysis on continuing vocational training (elaboration of labour force survey (LFS) data). The analysis showcases the obstacles to adult participation in training.

Almost 2 700 000 adults (aged 25 to 64) underwent training in 2018, as analysis by the National Institute for Public Policy Analysis (INAPP, forthcoming) demonstrates. This is a significant outcome, showing an increase of 0.8 percentage points (+0.8 p.p.) compared to 2015 (7.3%). However, adult participation in Italy (8.1%) is three percentage points below the EU-28 average (11.1%) and 6.9 percentage points lower than the EU-28 adult participation in lifelong learning target of 15%.

The analysis points out that certain sociodemographic characteristics (e.g. education, age, employment and profession, place of residence) affect participation rates. Those with low education qualifications are less likely to participate in training (2% compared to 18.7% of those with a tertiary education qualification). Age also plays a significant role, with those over 45 showing lower participation rates. Participation rate for those aged over 54 was three times lower compared to those under the age of 35 in 2018: 5% versus 15.3%

Access to training is even lower for low-skilled adults living in the Italian south. Finally, the fact that the 50+ age group usually lags behind in technological and organisational skills multiplies employability risks.

Similarly to the education attainment, in the EU-28, people employed at high-level occupations (managers, professionals etc.) display higher training participation rates with an average of 18.1 (about four times higher than the percentage recorded for specialised workers and less qualified employees (5%)). In Italy, participation rates in training range from 15.3% for high-level occupations to 3.2% for the less qualified ones.