Two million new hires required digital skills

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The other side of the coin, namely the green revolution, is also looking for skills. Again, the recent Excelsior photographs, by Unioncamere-Anpal, have highlighted how in 2023 alone, out of over five million hirings expected by companies, in 41.8% of cases the possession of skills for energy saving and environmental sustainability was required with a high degree of importance for carrying out the profession. Green skills are sought more among food production and preparation technicians (demanded with high importance at 86.2% of entries), civil construction technicians (81.6%), construction site management technicians (69 .7%), to workplace safety technicians (65.2%). Again to give some concrete examples, for technicians in the agro-industrial supply chain the demand for green skills translates into knowledge of recycling techniques, management of food waste, for the marketing of organic food products, for the management of procedures that best respect the company directives on energy saving. In the construction sector, the demand for green skills concerns the possession of knowledge in the fields of photovoltaics, renewable energy, building regulations regarding energy saving, low energy impact design, and the propensity to use latest generation technologies (home automation, etc.), and in recycled materials for green building. In the five years, from 2023 to 2027, “intermediate” level green skills will be required for approximately 2.4 million workers, and “high” level skills for over 1.5 million. But here too the mismatch is very high: over 50%.

The fact is that more than 20 years of lack of dialogue between training and work have produced heavy ruts, worsened by the speed of the revolutions underway and by a strong birth rate which is causing 100 thousand students to disappear from school every year (by 2034 the school population will will reduce by as many as 1.4 million students). An enormous damage for Italy which is the second manufacturing country in Europe, among the main world economies, but many young people do not know it, and worse still do not have the opportunity to encounter manufacturing during their studies, thus losing opportunities training and employment. For manufacturing alone, from mechatronics to IT, at least 500 thousand workers will be needed between now and 2027, again according to Unioncamere-Anpal. But today we already know that 45% of these sought-after profiles, i.e. almost one in two, will be difficult to find. Companies are also looking for over 50 thousand ITS graduates per year.

In short, the “mismatch” risks being a serious drag on Industry 5.0 also because it is constantly growing: in 2019 the difficulty of procurement remained at an average of 30%, now it rises to 45%. The damage is enormous: in 2022 Unioncamere estimated a loss of added value, caused by the mismatch, of 38 billion euros, considering a timescale of procurement difficulties of between 2 and 12 months. A paradox in a country with a high number of NEETs, 1.7 million young people between 15 and 29 who neither study nor work; a constant double-digit school dropout rate, and a youth unemployment rate of 21% among the worst internationally.


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