“There are countries, those of Northern Europe, where insertion into the job market is more immediate and where an effective youth policy has been made – explains Mario Mezzanzanica, Vice-Rector for Higher Education and Job Placement of the University Bicocca -. However, it must be underlined that it is difficult to compare countries with such different school and university systems. Just think of the 1-2 year professional degree courses that exist in Germany, a sort of apprenticeship where work is almost guaranteed. Here they are marginal ». The differences between North and South Italy also weigh: «For Istat – continues Mezzanzanica – the employment rate of graduates is on average 67.8%, but in the North it is around 80%, or even exceeds it as in our case ».
Differences that the pandemic has increased. From a recent report by Almalaurea, an interuniversity consortium of 76 universities, it emerges that in the months of the lockdown «the employment rate one year after graduation decreased, compared to 2019, by 9% among first level graduates and by 1 , 6% of the second ones ». And that the South and the women paid the highest price. Women in Italy who struggle even more than men to find work: 55.8% the employment rate (Eurostat).
“We are a country with a high medieval rate” comments Ivano Dionigi, president of Almalaurea. Why these data? «First: our boys start university one year after many European colleagues, graduate late and often drop out. Second: the 3 + 2 reform started badly. Third: orientation is missing. And then wages: abroad they pay better and therefore our young people leave, also because in Italy many businesses are family-run and family-run. University, politics and business must work together, and of the three actors the university is the one that does its part best “.
To those who criticize the excess theory of universities that would not prepare for the world of work, Dionysius replies that “the practice has its weight, but the university’s task is not to form super-experts”. To worry, in this 2020, are the registrations: «The crisis of 2008 made us lose 60,000 freshmen, then half recovered. Now we have to be careful. For a familyWill unemployment or cig enroll a child in university be the priority? I say that losing even one freshman will be a defeat for the country ».
Coronavirus is already making its effects felt. Just look at the data from the Almalaurea Curriculum Bank. If in January 2020 over 100 thousand hp were acquired by the companies from the platform (+ 15.1% compared to 2019), in February there was a -17.3% followed by three months of collapse, those of the lockdown (peak in April , -56.1%) and now from a recovery. At the same time, tripled requests for CVs in the medical field.
In the restart phase, how can we intervene to give young people more chances? “We need policies capable of promoting their insertion into a world of work, ours, which among small and very small businesses does not help recent graduates – concludes Mezzanzanica -. And we must foster the meeting between supply and demand by creating ever closer links between university and enterprises “.