Italy: Working conditions of young entrants to the labour market

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Job quality,
  • Published on: 18 December 2013



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Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

The Italian debate over working conditions of young entrants was for a long time identified with those of young workers on the one hand and with the spreading of nonpermanent employment on the other, as the most affected group. Only after 2007 the debate separated these issues and some research focused on young people working conditions.

Introduction

This EWCO CAR is specifically focused on the group of “young entrants to the labour market”. This group includes all young people (between 15 and 30 years old) who have recently entered into the labour market (i.e., people with a work experience shorter than 1-2 years in the labour market), with relative independence of their age and for whom work is their main and core activity. This definition excludes young people for whom studies are their main activity but who combine their studies with some remunerated activity as part of their training programmes (e.g. apprenticeships in dual systems), as well as unemployed young people, even if they are actively looking for a job (see Background note for more detailed information on the concept of young entrants to be considered in the research).

The CAR coordinating team is conscious that such as “narrow” definition of “young entrants to the labour market” can make difficult the identification and collection of relevant information on the topic. Therefore, and in the case no national information is available using this “narrow” definition, National Correspondents can use a “proxy” definition of “young entrant to the labour market” as any young person (i.e. between 15 and 30 years old) who is in employment, irrespectively of the number of years of experience that he/she has in the labour market (again, unemployed young people are excluded from the analysis).

The questionnaire focuses on the following topics:

  • General description and characterisation of the main current working conditions of young entrants to the labour market in your country in comparison to other age groups (around 700 words)

  • Identification and characterisation of existing differences in working conditions within the group of young entrants to the labour market in your country (around 600 words)

  • Evolution of working conditions of young entrants to the labour market in the last five years. Effects of the economic crisis (around 500 words)

  • Initiatives taken by national governments/social partners in order to improve employment levels and working conditions of young entrants to the labour market (around 500 words)

  • Final commentary on the main results (around 100 words)

Block 1: General description and characterisation of the main current working conditions of young entrants to the labour market in your country in comparison to other age groups

NCs are kindly requested to provide the most updated information (coming from national surveys, administrative registers or ad-hoc national research/studies) on a number of working conditions-related variables specifically related to young entrants to the labour market in comparison to other age groups. Please provide the information only for those variables where significant/important differences, either positive or negative, can be identified in relation to other age groups, stressing the causes and rationale of these differences

Suggested extension of this section: around 700 words

1.1 Career and employment security issues

According to the 2009 LFS ad hoc module, 15,1% of those aged 15-34 are in a paid employment: their share increases from 3.5% amongst those aged 15-19 to 19.9% among those aged 25-29 and decline to 19.5% among those aged 30-34.

The 2011 Ministry of Labour report Young people and work (“I giovani e il lavoro”) summarizes the main indicators about young employment. While the overall workforce aged 15-64 declined by 2.2% from 2008 to 2010, young workforce displays a stronger decrease: those aged 15-24 declined by 15.9% and those aged 25-29 declined by 11.5%. Their share over total workforce declines from 6.4% to 5.5% for those aged 15-24 and from 10.1% to 9.1% for those aged 24-29. On the other hand, the share of nonpermanent employees among those aged 15-24 increases from 42.3% in 2007 to 46.7% in 2010, while almost one over four (24.3%) works part-time (14.8% over the total workforce).

There is no evidence about working conditions of young entrants while there have been few recent surveys on working conditions of young workers as such: this contribution will mainly refer to Di Nunzio (2011), and the section of “Young report” (Rapporto giovani) by Istituto Toniolo, an institute related to catholic associations, devoted to their relationship with work, and to some figures from the 3rd ISfol Quality of work survey (QWS), carried out in 2010, kindly provided over some issues in the meanwhile the final report is forthcoming. The former relies on a survey based on a representative sample of 1,000 young workers aged 15-34 carried out in 2010 by Ires, the research institute of Cgil the largest Italian trade union,with the financial support of the Ministry of Labour, focused on health and social risks of young workers. The latter is based on a representative sample of 4,500 young people aged 15-29 carried out at end 2012, regardless to their occupational status. Isfol QWS proposes this latter age classes break.

According to the Istituto Toniolo “Young report”, 25.3% are “quite” or “very” unsatisfied with their current job, while 19.9% are “very satisfied”. 50.2% of respondents are unsatisfied with their earnings and 47.4% with the poor fit of the current job with their qualification. On the other hand, they are less unsatisfied by their relations with both superiors and colleagues (fig. 1). These figures are in contrast with those from the 3rd Isfol QWS summarized in Bergamante and Gualtieri (2011) reporting that young workers aged 15-29 show a statistically significantly probability of being satisfied than the overall population, 80% of which are “very” or “fairly” satisfied.

Figure 1: Unsatisfaction about specific aspects of the quality of work. %values

it1306019q.tmp00.jpg

Source: Istituto Toniolo, 2013

According to the 3rd ISfol QWS Quality of work survey, young workers aged 15-29 report the highest share of fear of losing their job (23.2% versus 18.2%): such a fear clearly declines with age and attains its lowest value among those workers aged more than 55 (14.4%): on the other hand 9.4% of them report report their will to retire (table 1).

Table 1: Fear of losing the current job, % values, 2010
 

15-29

30-44

45-54

55 more

total

Yes

23.2

18.5

16.9

14.4

18.2

No

72.1

77.2

78.8

72.7

76.3

I will retire

0.0

0.0

0.7

9.4

1.4

DK/NA

4.7

4.3

3.6

3.5

4.1

Source: 3rd Isfol QWS

In general, according to the 3rd Isfol QWS young workers benefit of lower discretion at work than older ones: gaps are generally small, except in the discretion about the activities programmed (67.8% versus 72.2% on average) and about the order of the tasks (62.8% versus 71% on average)

Table 2 – Discretion at work by age classes, % values, 2010
 

15-29

30-44

45-54

55 more

total

Can choose or change methods of work

69.5

72.4

71.2

74.1

71.8

Can choose or change the activities program

67.8

73.8

72.5

75.0

72.2

Can choose or change the order of tasks

62.8

62.2

70.5

76.2

71.0

Can change the speed of work

71.2

75.1

72.9

76.2

74.1

Can easily take a break when needed

61.1

64.3

63.0

67.0

63.9

Can easily take a day off

64.0

65.2

66.4

70.0

66.0

Source: 3rd Isfol QWS

Di Nunzio (2011) report significantly different figures (table 3). While young workers report higher opportunities to take a break (75.2% of respondents), the other items are by far lower: 46.8% can choose the pace of work, 43% can take with a certain freedom a day of, 35.8% can choose the work methods (35.8%) and 30.7% the order of tasks. Finally, 35.2% enjoy a certain freedom in changing shifts (30.7%), while choice of work colleagues is least frequent occurrence (21.6%). These differences may be due both to differences in the sample size and question design.

Table 3: Discretion at work, % values

Degree of autonomy

%

Can take a break when needed

75.2

Can change the speed of work

46.9

Have with a certain freedom in taking a day off

43.0

Can choose or change methods of work

36.2

Can manage with a certain freedom shiftwork

35.2

Can choose or change the order of tasks

31.1

Enjoy a certain freedom in choosing his/her colleagues

21.9

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

According to the 3rd Isfol QWS, young workers report working more than average 40 to 44 hours per week (50.7% with respect to a 39.1% on average) but less likely to work more than 50 hours per week (5.2%), which is positively related with age (Table 4).

Table 4: Weekly working time by age classes, % values, 2010
 

15-29

30-44

45-54

55 o più

Total

Less than 19

9.9

4.1

6.7

8.2

6.2

20 - 26

5.4

11.6

10.0

8.1

9.8

27 - 39

15.2

20.4

30.3

27.3

23.3

40 - 44

50.7

41.0

34.0

30.6

39.1

45 - 50

13.7

14.0

12.3

14.4

13.5

Source: 3rd Isfol QWS

Table 5: Unsocial hours by age classes, % values
 

15-29

30-44

45-54

55 o più

Total

Night work

12.2

12.8

12.6

9.1

12.2

Sundays work

24.3

27.1

24.6

25.8

25.8

Shift work

17.9

23.4

19.4

12.5

20.0

No daily flexibility

40.2

42.7

44.1

34.1

41.6

Source: 3rd Isfol QWS

Further, according to 3rd Isfol QWS young workers report lower unsocial hours than older ones and more daily flexibility, except those aged 55 or more (table 5). Figures reported by Di Nunzio (2011) are quite different with higher unsocial hours (table 6): week-end work is the most widespread type (58.2%) of unsocial working times, followed by Sunday work (41.8%) and shift work (37.1%). On the other hand, less than 50% work overtime, of which 4.4% unpaid.

Table 6: Unsocial working times, % values
 

shiftwork

Week-end work

Sunday work

Night work

never

62.6

45.9

58.2

80.0

sometimes

22.0

32.1

26.8

12.4

Often

15.1

21.9

14.9

7.6

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

According to Di Nunzio (2011), 23.1% of respondents earn less than 800 euros per month and 26% between 800 to 1,000 euros, while only 7.1% earn more than 1,500€, which is considered as a medium threshold. 28.8% of respondents report an economic contribution from their parents. Differences by employment contract and age will be investigated in section 2 below.

Less than one over five nonpermanent workers believe his current contract could be converted into a permanent one while 45% is unable to cast any forecast of this kind (table 7). It is worth to note that fixed-term employees expect their current contract to be converted into a permanent one almost 3 times more than other nonpermanent workers (respectively21.7% and 7.7%). Similarly, when asked how they figure out their work perspectives for the next three years, almost one respondent over three display quite optimistic expectations (but only 22.4% among “other nonpermanent workers”) and 23.9% do not expect any change. This latter item has a considerably different meaning for permanent employees (share by almost one over three) who consider it as “stability”, and nonpermanent ones, who consider it as a persistency in a precarious status (table 8). Thus, negative perspectives are share by one permanent employee over three, two fixed –term employees over three and over three other nonpermanent workers over four.

Table 7: Expectations for a transformation into a permanent employment by employment regime, % values
 

Fixed-term employee

Other nonpermanent

Total

Yes

21.7

7.7

19.3

No

32.3

48.7

35.2

Unable to foresee

45.9

43.6

45.5

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

Table 8: Expectations over the next 3 years by employment regime, % values
 

Permanent

Fixed-term employees

Other nonpermanent

Total

Full of opportunities

33.5

33.5

22.4

32.3

Full of risks and uncertaties

20.2

29.0

37.8

25.5

Exactly as it is now

32.4

15.3

15.3

23.9

Unable to foresee

13.9

22.3

24.5

18.3

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

1.2 Skills development

None of the above mentioned surveys investigates training activities in general. Only Di Nnnzio (2011) investigates training on health and safety, received over the past two years by only 25.9% of respondent, of which only 3.3% more than 20 hours: it is worth to stress quite low awareness levels, as more than one respondent over six does not know (table 9).

Table 9: Training over health and safety by hour classes, % values
 

%

No training

56.0

Less than 20 hours

22.6

More than 20 hours

3.3

DK

18.1

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

1.3 Health and well being

According to Di Nunzio (2011), 49.2% of respondents report physical risks for health at their workplace while 34.1% report psychosocial risk factors (table 10). Among the former, the most reported are extreme temperatures (23.1% of respondents), excessive noise (21%) and moisture (14.8%)

Table 10: Physical risk factors, % values
 

%

extreme temperatures

23.1

Excessive noise

21.0

Moisture

14.8

Insufficient airing

9.3

Poor space

8.8

Inadequate lighting

8.6

Vibrations

7.8

Presence of vapours, smokes, gases

7.6

Presence of dust

7.4

Contact with biological materials

6.5

Contact with chemical substances

6.5

Inadequate hygienic conditions

3.8

extreme temperatures

23.1

Excessive noise

21.0

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

When considering ergonomic risk factors, 9.2% report working “often” in awkward positions, 9.1% carry heavy loads or considerable efforts, and 3.9% in dangerous situations (table 11).

Table 11: Ergonomic risk factors, % values
 

Never

sometimes

often

awkward positions

57.4

33.3

9.2

carry heavy loads or perform considerable efforts

64.7

26.1

9.1

dangerous situations

82.0

13.9

3.9

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

Among those organizational factors related to work intensity, Di Nunzio (2011) lists excessive pace of work (13.2% often, 47% sometimes) repetitive or boring tasks (13.6% often 40.7% sometimes) as the most frequent, while performing tasks assigned to others as the least (4.2% often, 40.7% sometimes, table 12)

Table 12: Work intensity risk factors, % values
 

Never

sometimes

often

Working with tight deadlines

52.0

38.4

9.4

Excessive pace of work

39.5

47.0

13.2

Not enough time for the assigned tasks

52.5

40.0

7.0

Solve problems or unforeseen situations

37.2

51.5

11.3

Repetititve or boring tasks

45.3

40.7

13.6

Performing tasks assigned to others

57.7

37.5

4.2

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

Figures over these issues are available also from the 3rd Isfol QWS, although on slightly different issues and question designs. Young workers aged less than 29 report more than average working with a pace of work depending on colleagues (respectively 59.7% and 45.1%), on superior’s control (respectively 36.8% and 28.2%) and on customers’ demands (respectively 77% and 74.3%) while they work less than average at high speed (respectively 20.9% and 27.2%, table 13).

Table 13: Organizational risk factors raising psychosocial risks by age classes, % values
 

15-29

30-44

45-54

55 or more

Total

Repetitive tasks

72.3

71.4

71.7

71.2

71.6

High pace of work

20.9

28.7

28.7

26.1

27.2

Pace depending on colleagues

59.7

46.6

42.5

29.7

45.1

Pace depending on customers/users

77.0

73.4

74.6

74.3

74.3

Pace depending on quantitative standards

40.2

42.3

43.7

41.0

42.2

Pace depending on speed machine

24.0

24.0

20.4

25.5

23.2

Pace depending on superior’s control

36.8

29.2

27.3

17.7

28.2

Source: 3rd Isfol QWS

According to Di Nunzio (2011), 7.4% of young workers report a poor wellbeing at work while 53.4% “good” or “very good” (table 14). This synthetic indicator is then investigated in connection with the number of risk factors: those reporting “insufficient” or “sufficient” levels of wellbeing are concentrated among those reporting 3 or more risk factors, while those reporting “good” or “very good” level of wellbeing are concentrated among those not reporting any risk factor.

Table 14: Wellbeing level by number of reported risk factors, % values
 

Insufficient

Sufficient

tolerable

good

Very good

Total

No risk factors

28.2

32.7

52.0

57.1

68.0

52.8

1 risk factor

12.7

15.9

15.0

18.5

12.9

15.8

2 risk factors

14.1

16.8

16.1

13.7

8.4

13.8

3 or more risk factors

45.1

34.6

16.8

10.7

10.7

17.6

total

7.4

11.1

28.2

34.9

18.5

100

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

1.4 Reconciliation of working and non-working life

The issue was dealt in the previous section when considering discretion in changing shifts or opportunities to apply for a day off.

Block 2: Identification and characterisation of existing differences in working conditions within the group of young entrants to the labour market in your country

NCs are kindly requested to provide the most updated information (coming from national surveys, administrative registers or ad-hoc national researches/studies) on differences of working conditions within the group of young entrants to the labour market, for a series of variables. Please provide the information only for those variables where significant/important differences, either positive or negative, can be identified, stressing the causes and rationale of these differences

Suggested extension of this section: around 600 words

2.1 Personal characteristics of young entrants

According to Di Nunzio (2011), nonpermanent employed account for over 90% of those aged less than 20 years and decrease with age: permanent employees prevail only among those aged 30-34 (table 15).

Table 15: distribution by age classes and employment regimes, % values
 

15-19

20-24

25-29

30-34

Total

Permanent employees

8.3

30.6

41.6

73.0

50.2

Fix-term employees

66.7

57.9

45.3

20.7

39.3

Agency workers and bogus self-employed

24.0

11.5

13.2

6.3

10.4

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

Di Nunzio (2011) decomposes the EWCS indicator of work discretion into two subindicators “autonomy in working times” and “autonomy in processes” drawn from figures summarized in table 2 above, ranging respectively 0-3 and 0-4: both indexes display a positive relation with age, especially the latter (table 16).

Table 16: Work autonomy by age classes, indexes
 

15-19

20-24

25-29

30-34

Autonomy in working times index (0-3)

1.0

1.4

1.5

1.8

Autonomy in processes index (0-4)

0.5

1.0

1.5

1.6

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

Di Nunzio (2011) investigates exposure to physical risk factors by defining two indexes for exposure to risk factors and work intensity: both indexes are higher among men (respectively 1.5 and 2.7) than among women (0.8 and 2.4), although the latter show by far smaller differences (table 17).

Table 17: Exposure to physical risks by gender, indexes

Gender

exposure to ergonomic risks index(0-6)

Work intensity index (0-8)

Men

1.5

2.7

Women

0.8

2.4

Total

1.2

2.6

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

Di Nunzio (2011) highlights that professional reward increases with qualification level: those reporting high rewarding increases from 11.9% among low qualified to 26.9% to high qualified with tertiary education (table 18). Notwithstanding this, the large majority of respondent report a moderate professional reward, confirmed by poor qualification premium which characterize Italian labour market.

Table 18: professional reward by qualification, % values

Professional reward

low

medium

High

total

Poor or nothing

24.9

22.7

15.3

21.2

Fairly

63.3

66.4

57.9

63.7

high

11.9

10.9

26.9

15.1

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

2.2 Occupational characteristics

Manufacturing displays the higher share of young workers with a permanent contract (more than two over three) while in service sector the majority has a nonpermanent contract (55%, table 19). This seems to compensate the lower status manufacturing enjoy among young people because of alleged harder working conditions.

Table 19: Young employment regime by sector, % values
 

Manufacturing

Constructions

Services

Total

Permanent employees

67.2

51.3

45.0

50.2

Fixed-term employees

31.8

40.8

41.4

39.3

Other nonpermanent

1.0

7.9

13.6

10.4

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

The share of permanent employees increases with company size, from 45.3% to 63.5% of respondents. The 15 employees threshold is relevant in the Italian institutional framework as there are legal differences in employment protection against firing: this pattern thus outlines that lower employment protection does not encourage the offer of permanent contract (table 20).

Table 20: Distribution by employment regime and company size, % values
 

1 - 9

10 - 15

16 - 49

50 - 249

250 and more

Total

Permanent employees

45.4

45.9

47.0

59.4

63.5

49.9

Fixed-term employees

41.1

47.1

42.4

32.3

31.3

40.1

Other nonpermanent

13.6

7.0

10.6

8.3

5.2

10.0

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

According to Di Nunzio (2011), medium firms provide safer work environment with lower exposure to both ergonomic risks and work intensity while in large companies exposure to ergonomic risks are higher (table 21). Sectoral composition by company size should explain such differences, although we can guess a larger share among these latter of manufacturing companies. However, there are several reasons making employment regime apparently affecting risk perception: first of all, their share is higher in manufacturing where physical risks are more apparent, then they gained a wider experience with their tasks and their work environment and finally they usually receive better and more regular training than nonpermanent workers on health and safety.

Table 21: Exposure to health risks by company size, Indexes

Company size

exposure to ergonomic risks index(0-6)

Work intensity index (0-8)

1 - 9

1.2

2.6

10 - 15

1.2

2.7

16 - 49

1.0

2.7

50 - 249

1.1

2.2

250 and more

1.5

2.6

Total

1.2

2.6

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

Di Nunzio (2011) investigates differences in working conditions by professional status by making recourse to the physical risk indexes (table 22) and to perceived wellbeing (table 23). As a general trend the former case, exposure to ergonomic risk decline as we move from low skilled to high skilled workers while the latter displays the reverse trend, although the relation is much less pronounced. However, technicians display the lowest scores for both indexes (respectively 0.6 and 2.2) while skilled workers the highest among blue collars for both indexes (respectively 2.8 and 2.9).

Table 22: Risk exposure by profession, indexes
 

exposure to ergonomic risks index(0-6)

Work intensity index (0-8)

Managers and armed forces

0.7

3.4

Professionals

0.7

3.5

Technicians

0.6

2.2

Clerks

0.5

2.6

Sale and service professions

1.2

2.6

Skilled workers

2.8

2.9

Semiqualified workers

2.5

2.5

non qualified workers

2.2

2.5

Total

1.2

2.6

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

However, there is a clear positive relationship between skill qualification and perceived wellbeing: nonqualified and semiqualified workers report the higher share of “insufficient” level (13%), while managers and armed force – grouped because of their small numbers - the highest of “very good” level (52.6%): clearly, both professional content, balance between demand and control, and social status play a key role in achieving different levels of perception (table 18).

Table 23: Level of perceived wellbeing by occupation, % values
 

Insufficient

Sufficient

tolerable

good

Very good

Managers and armed forces

0.0

0.0

10.5

36.8

52.6

Professionals

3.3

6.6

23.0

37.7

29.5

Technicians

4.2

9.3

27.3

38.9

20.4

Clerks

8.1

9.8

23.1

38.9

20.1

Sale and service professions

8.2

12.7

31.8

29.5

17.7

Skilled workers

8.6

15.1

31.2

35.5

9.7

Semiqualified workers

11.9

14.9

37.3

28.4

7.5

non qualified workers

13.0

14.8

35.2

25.9

11.1

Total

7.4

11.1

28.2

34.9

18.5

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

Fixed-term employees display the lowest levels of discretion for all dimensions while permanent ones the highest for all dimensions but opportunities to take a break, which are higher for other nonpermanent workers (table 4).

Table 24: Discretion at work by employment regime, % values
 

Permanent

Fixed-term employees

Other nonpermanent

Total

Can take a break when needed

77.1

71.7

79.4

75.2

Can choose or change the order of tasks

41.4

17.6

29.3

30.7

Can choose or change methods of work

44.6

24.9

34.3

35.8

Can change the speed of work

57.5

33.8

44.4

46.8

Enjoy a certain freedom in choosing his/her colleagues

27.9

14.1

20.4

21.6

Source: Di Nunzio (2011)

Table 25: Overtime by employment regime, % values
 

Permanent

Fixed-term employees

Other nonpermanent

Total

No

40.1

60.1

65.3

50.6

Only paid

43.9

26.4

23.5

34.9

Both paid and unpaid

13.6

7.6

3.1

10.2

Only unpaid

2.3

6.0

8.2

4.4

Source: Di Nunzio, 2011

One young worker over two report performing overtime: in most cases (34.9% of the overall population) only paid, while 10.2% report both paid and unpaid and 4.4% only unpaid. Disaggregation by employment regime displays great differences: 60% of permanent workers do overtime, which is done by less than 35% of other nonpermament workers. These latter, in turn, report the highest share of unpaid overtime (8.2%)

Di Nunzio (2011) investigates discretion on working times by occupational status: 43.2% of respondents can manage some days of timeoff while only 38.2% have some room to manoeuvre about their shifts (table 26). Differences by occupational status are by far larger in the latter case among fixed-term employees (25.3% with respect to permanent employees, 57.3%), reporting the lowest discretion, than in the former.

Table 26: Working time management by occupational status, % values
 

Permanent

Fixed-term employees

Other nonpermanent

Total

can manage shiftwork

43.2

31.3

45.3

38.7

Can take leaves quite easily

57.3

25.2

43.3

43.2

Source: Di Nunzio, 2011

Block 3: Evolution of working conditions of young entrants to the labour market in the last five years. Effects of the economic crisis

NCs are kindly requested to provide information on the following items: NCs are kindly requested to provide information (coming from national surveys, administrative registers or ad-hoc national researches/studies) on differences of working conditions amongst the group of young entrants to the labour market in comparison to the situation five years ago. Please provide the information only for those variables where significant/important differences, either positive or negative, can be identified, stressing the causes and rationale of these differences

Suggested extension of this section: around 500 words

3.1 Please provide information on the evolution of working conditions of young labour entrants in the last five years. Have working conditions of this group improved/deteriorated in comparison to the existing situation five years ago (before the economic crisis began)? What are the reasons for these changes

The most relevant issue allowing exploration from national sources is employment regime: as highlighted by the 2011 Ministry of Labour report Young people and work above mentioned, the share of nonpermanent workers aged 15-29 almost doubled over the decade from less than 24% in 2001 to 46.7% in 2010.

We can compare figures on working times with those from the survey “L’Italia che lavora oggi” (‘The working Italy today’) carried out by Ires. In 2006, 48% of workers aged 15-24 and 39.9% of those aged 25-34 do shiftwork, 30.1% of those aged 15-24 and 27.9% of those aged 25-34 work on Sundays, while one over three work on Saturdays, one over five includes night work, and 43% are required overtime with negligible differences among the two age classes. Apart night work, all unsocial working hours and overtime are more widespread in 2010 than four years earlier: this reflect the decline in manufacturing in favour of private service sectors with even more extensive colonization of working times.

We cannot draw any trend from the Isfol QWS as the consolidated report of the 3rd EWCS is forthcoming.

3.2 Based on possible existing prospective studies, please provide information on the expected evolution of employment levels and working conditions of young labour market entrants in your country in the near future (coming 2-3 years)

BY combining trends presented in the 2011 Ministry of Labour report Young people and work with those presented by the 2012 Ministry of Labour Annual report on compulsory communications, which summarizes hirings and separations in the labour market , showing a relaunch of hiring on nonpermanent basisi after the 1-st quarter 2009 freeze, it is easy to foresee that long-term decline in the stock of permanent employment, especially among young workers.

Block 4: Initiatives taken by national governments/social partners in order to improve employment levels and working conditions of young entrants to the labour market

4.1 Identify main recent national measures/initiatives (1-2) put in place in your country by public authorities in order to improve employment opportunities and working conditions for young entrants to the labour market.

The 2009 governmental Plan for young employability through the integration between learning and work devises a set of measures on the education and training system by pointing out its alleged self-referring design as the main factor negatively affecting young work perspectives.

The 2012 labour market reform limited the opportunities in using nonpermanent contracts and bogus self-employment (especially as “project collaborators” or “associated in participation”) by promoting the recourse to apprenticeship as entry contract into labour market and stable positions, but left unchanged the vast array of 46 nonstandard employment contracts, both as employees and economic dependent workers. After six months of implementation, Cgil carried out an online poll: only 5% of “project collaborators” was converted into permanent positions, 4% in non-pemanent employment positions (fixed term or agency), while 42% remained with the same contract, 22% shifted towards more precarious contracts and 27% lost his/her job. However, as the website non+ (never more) devoted to the Cgil campaign against precarious work outlines, there have been several company-level agreement in retail chains (Isola verde, Tracks Retail), training centers (Enaip Veneto), logistics (SDA) and touristic villages (Valtur) converting project collaborations contracts into employment ones on a permanent or nonpermanent basis according to the company needs.

4.2 Identify main recent initiatives (1-2) put in place in your country by social partners (either at national, sector or company level) in order to improve working conditions amongst young entrants to the labour market.

In the 2011 National labour contract of professional cabinets (such as lawyers, fiscal consultants, physicians, architects), social partners agree to carry out a joint study as a basis for joint guidelines for practicers’ fair compensation. Practicers are young entrants, mostly with a tertiary education, carrying out a work experience of at least two years in those professions requiring inscription in the professional register: such a practice period is required in order to carry out state examination.

In view of this bargaining, the trade union Cgil launched the campaigns “con il contratto” (with a labour contract) “non più” (“no more”), after having promoted a survey carried out by Ires (Di Nunzio, Ferrucci, Leonardi, 2011): according to this latter, two out three practicers work as bogus self-employed or trainees, thus with poor social security provisions, with long hours and poor pay: 44% of them earn less than 15,000€ per year and only 17.1% more than 30,000€ per year (see the EWCO IU Poor rewards for self-employed knowledge professionals). The bargaining is still ongoing and hampered by the December 2012 law on legal profession, which established that that the practice period is unpaid.

Commentary by the NC

Young entrants in Italy are usually identified with young workers because of the high age they enter into the labour market and the focus on precariousness, with increasingly uncertainty and therefore negative impact over their psychosocial wellbeing. The 2007 seminal Banca d’Italia working paper “The wage generation gap” and the 2009 book “Flex-insecurity” by Berton et al. (2009) marked a turning point for the overall debate: they in fact show the persistency of lower wage levels they experience at their entry at work, often combined with employment insecurity, thus well beyond young entrants with disruptive effects on both perspective social cohesion and economic performance..

References

Berton F., Ricchiardi M., Sacchi S. (2009), Flex-insecurity. Perché in Italia la flessibilità diventa precarietà. (“Flex-insecurity. Why in Italy flexibility becomes precariousness”). Il Mulino, Bologna.

Di Nunzio D., ed (2011), Rischi sociali e per la salute. Le condizioni di lavoro dei giovani in Italia. (“Health and social risks. Young people working conditions in Italy”) Ediesse, Roma.

Mario Giaccone, Ires

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