Mind the Gap: Skills, Women, Youth and the Green Digital Transition in Italy and Europe
2023 is the European Year for Skills. The right skills can unlock the labour market, enable full participation to society and democracy. They will give people agency and make them resilient. Skills development and the green digital transition can be seen as two sides of the same coin. Yet socio-economic indicators confirm cleavages between generations, genders, and territories, they provide evidence of skill gaps and mismatches. European data shows, for example, that three quarters of companies in the EU report difficulties in recruiting workers with the necessary skills, that one in three people lack basic digital skills, and that women are still underrepresented in STEM education and professions. In Italy, despite pasts investments in continuous education, the workforce has scarce opportunities for training; the South has the highest rate of longstanding unemployed people in Europe, and the percentage of Italy’s young Neet is 10 points above the Eu average (27.8 % against 16.4 %).
The overall picture is a sobering one, but the good news is that gaps and disadvantages are a priority both at European and national levels. Initiatives for skills development are supported across Europe as a pathway to sustainable competitiveness, social fairness, and resilience. Europe is promoting schemes for perfecting digital expertise in general but also for acquiring the skills needed to build greener material infrastructure, from streets and pipes, to buildings, buses, and cars. The Italian Recovery and Resilience plan itself dedicates several billion euros to active labour market policies and initiatives of re-skilling and up-skilling, with a special focus on women and youth. These grants are available at National and regional levels and are also the target of public-private cooperation.
Join us to find out how, no matter the funding source, the emphasis on skills for the green and digital transition is prominent. Familiarize yourself with funding sources, strategies, and tools for developing convincing applications for your next project.