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Discussion Paper - Mutual Learning Programme

Discussion Paper - Mutual Learning Programme

Discussion Paper - Mutual Learning

Introduction DISCUSSION PAPER Higher-level Apprenticeships in Italy Discussion Paper 30-31 October 2008 Peer Review Higher Apprenticeship, Italy Silvia Spattini Marco Biagi Foundation University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Since the term “higher-level apprenticeship” is the translation into English of an Italian expression describing a new policy and type of contract, first of all a general definition of the concept of apprenticeship seems useful. The Cedefop publication “Terminology of vocational training policy” 1 defines apprenticeships as “systematic, long-term training alternating periods in a school or training centre and at the workplace; the apprentice is contractually linked to the employer and receives remuneration (wage or allowance)” 2 . The key feature that distinguishes apprenticeships from other form of alternate training is the fact that the apprentice is an employee, and is paid by the employer. Part A: Description of the main elements of the policy A.1 Background Apprenticeship contracts and in particular apprenticeship contracts leading to a diploma (high school certificate), university degree or master’s degree 3 , known as higher-level apprenticeships, are intended to address the persistent weakness of young people in the Italian labour market 4 . The unemployment rate for young people (population aged up to 25 years) in 2002, before the introduction of the policy shows that Italy was one of the countries with the worst performance in the European Union, with a rate (23.1 per cent) nearly nine points higher than the average for the EU15 (14.6 per cent). Only Greece and Spain had a weaker performance. 1 ) See P. Tissot, Terminology of vocational training policy, Cedefop, 2004. 2 ) See P. Tissot, Terminology of vocational training policy, Cedefop, 2004, p. 25. 3 ) See the annex for the description of the organisation of the education and vocational training system in Italy. 4 ) See M. Tiraboschi, Young People and Employment in Italy: The (Difficult) Transition from Education and Training to the Labour Market, in International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, 2006, Vol. 22, Issue 1. 1

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