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Osservatorio delle Competenze Digitali 2023: the ICT labour market barometer in Italy

The Osservatorio delle Competenze Digitali (Digital Skills Observatory) is the project conducted by the 3 leading ICT Associations in Italy (Assintel, Anitec-Assinform and AICA) that aims to monitor the issue of digital skills and the ICT labour market. From the results that emerge from year to year are distilled the concrete proposals that the associations bring forward to the political world and stakeholders.

The 2023 edition offers an updated analysis of the ICT skills market in Italy. On the skills demand side, the study offers an in-depth analysis of data on online job advertisements for ICT profiles. On the supply side, the study focuses on the digital skills training system, from university degree courses to ITS, Bootcamps and secondary schools. To complete the market overview, the study proposes an estimation of the gap between demand and supply to arrive at a final section composed of policy suggestions to reduce market imbalances and answer the main training questions.

In Italy, job advertisements posted on the web to recruit ICT professionals increased from 25 thousand at the beginning of 2019 to 54 thousand in February 2023 (+116%). At the centre of companies’ demands are software developers and experts in network and systems engineering. But universities, ITS academies and high schools are failing to respond in a timely manner: in 2022, for some 219,000 advertisements published online, only 44,000 ICT graduates or diploma holders had entered the labour market. In particular:

  • in universities there is still limited growth in ICT courses (these courses account for 7% of the educational offer) and strong gender imbalances: to date, out of 100 graduates in IT security, only 6 are women. 

  • In the ITS Academy the effort to increase the ICT training offer is appreciable, but to date there are still only 19 active ITS in this subject throughout Italy, and the number of graduates is very limited. 

  • In high schools, the share of ICT courses is increasing, but the number of graduates ready to enter the labour market is essentially unchanged compared to eight years ago.

The associations recommend the following policies:

  • Reform the university and school system, ensuring accessible and inclusive ICT education;
  • „Digitise“ the labour market, both through the renewal of apprenticeship schemes and industrial doctorates, and by promoting the up-skilling and re-skilling of the current workforce;
  • Develop a ‘digital ecosystem’, promoting ICT entrepreneurship and the creation of collaborative supply chain networks.

The full report is available at this link