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Italy: New data outline difficult situation for immigrant youth

On 7 November, Fondazione Leone Moressa released new data comparing the situation of youngsters with migrant background living in Italy with their peers in other EU countries. The study has considered key indicators of education and labour market inclusion in 15 EU countries and the picture emerging from such new evidence is far from reassuring. It points out a generalised lack of trust in the future and gaps between educational and labour market outcomes of native and immigrant youth, four years after their last diploma.

The report first consider the share of Italian Neets (Not in Education, Employment nor Training) among those aged between 15 and 29. They represent around one quarter of this cohort, but the rate increases to 35% among non-nationals. This is the highest share in the 15 EU countries and the EU averages of respectively 13% and 23%.

Another negative record for Italy is related to education: nearly a third (28%) of young adults (30-34 years) in Italy holds a tertiary education diploma but this figure drops to 13% among foreign residents. These numbers are lower than the EU average, where 40% (35% among non-nationals) are highly educated. Data also confirms that significant gaps exists between Italian and immigrant youth not only in terms of access to education and labour market, but also of qualitative aspects such as inclusion. For example, 73% of pupils with a migratory background opt for vocational education and training, against 54% of young Italians. This is generally explained by the pressure for migrant teenagers to invest in types of education that offer better occupational prospects in the short run. Such figures indeed are reflected in their labour market situation: four years after the completion of their studies, 74% of migrant youth is active in the labour market against 65% of Italians and one in two is employed, against 43% of Italians.

In General, Italian youth (20-24) employment rates, are only better than Greece. With barely 27% of young people in employment (against an EU average of 52%). Such difficult insertion into the labour market is also reflected in lower chances of achieving an autonomous and independent life outside of family houses. Taking a look at the emancipation index - age at which young people leave their parents’ house -, young Italians leave their parental accommodation at slightly above 30 years.

The study calls for a stronger attention to be devoted to the socio-economic situation of youth in Italy, especially for a reduction of the existing gaps between young people with a migrant background and Italian nationals.

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