A week ago the article on Financial Times Young Italians Still Struggle To Find Jobs reported a low media coverage on Italian national press, unless it cited notable opinions, critics and daring proposals by leading academic professors like prof. Boeri and prof. Piga.
Following other international articles like the opening page on New York Times a few weeks ago, this article hits a raw nerve of Italian weak economy, hidden under a major silence reported in the debate on job market, regulations and labour minister Fornero new reforms.
Unless several columnists agree on the strong need to react with economic growth and stimulus measures to austerity laws approved by the tecnocrat government, our representatives don’t seem to be active in planning a development strategy that could invest in a major issue with a tactical importance in modern economic efficiency: human resources.
The labour minister Fornero measures adopted a new dole system, without providing any active job policy, and charging the financing costs totally on the employers, with quite misleading proposals like the increase of national insurance contribution for temporary workers.
Somebody may call it arrogance: it seems nobody is now concerned or focused of the generation gap boasted by constantly high unemployment levels. As professor Piga says, it could have also a negative influence of national GDP in the next future, unless we’re concerned with the relevant social and professional consequences.
The courage to invest on human resources would allow Italian SME, suffering an unprecedented credit crunch, and enormous fiscal pressure, and international crisis, to rely on a huge pool of young professionals not yet levelled out by temporary work abuse. The real alternative to the abuse of temporary employment, is not the dream of a fix job, but the concrete opportunity to grow through a diversified background. Our companies would gain benefits in terms of efficiency, professional attitude, and concrete advantages.
It’s time to quit any political or ideological prejudice, with general and vague proposals, removing immediate obstacle in the job market: the huge fiscal and welfare contribution pressure. Obviously a long term strategy should deal with the bad university placement and training situation, and also with the lack of active job and outplacement policies or the gap of rights and duties between young employees and elder ones. In the present situation of total emergency, it’s easier to use triggers immediately available. A temporary employee, in the present welfare law contest, it’s obliged to pay almost 28% of his gross income and he probably will never gain back any retirement salary at present conditions. Then he’s paying taxes for over 20% of the gross income. This is the bigger obstacle both for a structured international company than for smaller, atomized SME: you pay 200 to have your employees gaining 100.
It’s time to deal with immediate triggers, while planning a long lasting New Deal for the remaining focus areas, hopefully implementing also the National Youth Programme suggested by professor Piga or other daring measures.
The alternative, unfortunately, is the abyss of a generation gap. An immediate economic damage, and a professionalism deficit that harms the competitive structure of Italy, an export-oriented economy with global competitors. The courage to invest should imply immediate companies support, human resources, and other key issues of real economy.