Fondazione CDP and Generation Italy – Working together to build the digital skills of young people

Fondazione CDP and Generation Italy – Working together to build the digital skills of young people

Now in its second run, the Accademia dei Mestieri Digitali increases the number of young individuals receiving training, thanks to a network of companies supporting the project.

Entirely free-of-charge and accessible online, the project resulted in an impressive 87% employment rate for the young people involved in the previous edition.

Fondazione CDP, in partnership with Generation Italy, a non-profit foundation set up in 2014 by McKinsey & Company to combat unemployment, is delighted to announce the second edition of the Accademia dei Mestieri Digitali (Digital Skills Academy), which is now even bigger and better thanks to the direct involvement of a group of leading companies in the digital sector. DXC Technology, Gruppo Mutui OnLine, Gruppo SCAI, Jakala, Microsoft Italia, Protom, TopNetwork and IAMC will all participate to ensure the project's growth, either assessing the graduates at the end of their training for potential hire within the company or, in Microsoft’s case, providing technology for training programmes as a Tech Partner.

Despite encouraging signs from recent improvements in employment data (with a decrease to 22.1% in July 2023 from 23.4% the previous year1), youth unemployment in Italy remains significantly higher than in most European nations, where the average is around 13.9%2. Furthermore, the percentage of young people who are not in education, employment, or training (NEET) is the second highest in Europe. Approximately 19% of 15-29 year-olds in Italy fall into this category, a figure surpassed only by Romania, and significantly higher than the European average of around 12%3.

While young people face challenges when embarking on professional careers, businesses also struggle annually to find individuals with the appropriate skills to fill approximately 1.14 million jobs (Data from Unioncamere, Excelsior). This paradox is particularly pronounced in the digital professions sector, where each year there are 99,000 roles that companies find challenging to fill, accounting for 52% of total recruitments. According to the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) by the European Commission, Italy ranks 18th in terms of basic digital skills proliferation among the population. However, for advanced skills such as software development and data analysis, Italy is third from the bottom among the 27 European nations.

The Accademia dei Mestieri Digitali aims to address the employment needs of young people and the skill requirements of businesses, bringing together the non-profit sector with companies to provide young job seekers not only the chance to gain highly sought-after qualifications, but also direct access to job interviews upon completion of their training course.

Following the successful pilot project that trained around 90 unemployed and NEET students, of whom 87% secured employment after the course, the Accademia dei Mestieri Digitali will now expand to reach 300 beneficiaries across the whole of Italy. In addition, the training provision has been widened to five programmes focused on the most sought-after and hard-to-fill roles for businesses: Junior Full-Stack Java Software Developer; Junior .Net Software Developer; CRM Developer on Salesforce technologies; Systems Engineer and Cybersecurity Analyst; and Data Engineer.

Thanks to grants from Fondazione CDP and partner companies, students will be able to participate in the training programmes at no cost. The training is to be delivered entirely online, with courses lasting between 10 and 14 weeks on a full-time basis (9 a.m.-6 p.m.). To enrol in the courses, there is no need for prior skills, qualifications or professional experience. Simply sign up on the Generation Italy website and complete a brief online test on motivation and basic logic, which will be followed by a personal interview. Upon completion of the training, there is a phase of employment assistance which includes at least one guaranteed interview with companies within the industry.
“According to a study by the European Union, 9 out of 10 jobs will require digital skills in the near future. Even today, companies in Italy struggle to find candidates with the appropriate skills. It is clear that the issue of employment is not solely tied to the availability of opportunities, but more importantly, to the accessibility of these opportunities. Drawing on synergies between Fondazione CDP and partners companies, the aim of the Accademia dei Mestieri Digitali is to offer professional, experiential training tailored to the needs of businesses. We want to put existing untapped job opportunities within reach in an inclusive way, stimulating Italy’s competitiveness in the digital sector,” commented Oscar Pasquali, CEO of Generation Italy.

The upcoming classes for the Java Developer course will commence on 28 November, while the .Net Developer course will begin on 5 December.

To apply or register your interest in future classes, please click here: Generation Italy.

1Source: ISTAT, youth unemployment rate 15-24 years old in July 2023 and July 2022

2Source: EUROSTAT, youth unemployment rate 15-24 years in July 2023 (sample: European Union countries)

3Source: EUROSTAT; inactivity rate 15-29 years (2022 data)