Let's take care of Talent

A call-to-action to unlock the young people social lift from Capri Digital Summit

It’s an Italy that risks wasting its "best youth", the one coming out of the portrait from Capri Digital Summit. A Country where, for a young coming from non-graduate parents, the chances of graduating are even six times lower than those of a young coming from graduates. It only takes one comparison to understand how terribly serious this divide sits. In Denmark, the difference is reduced to just two. Donato Iacovone, CEO of Ernst&Young Italia and Managing Partner for the Mediterranean Area, in a Quotidiano.net interview, reinforces his concern about this, by talking about a " young generations social lift that in our Country is stationary, indeed went back." The alarm was followed by a call-to-action, directly addressed to the organizations: "We cannot leave universities alone. We need to invest in universities."

In 2018 alone, 37,000 young people have brought their burden of experience and expertise abroad. Among them, what market insiders consider our "best youth", the Stem graduates. Because for an engineering graduate, our Country’s entry level is about 1300euro, while in Germany, for example, flows from 3500. Salary makes a lot of difference. But there's more: faster careers across the border, more prosperous opportunities. By exporting 37,000 graduates on the one hand, and producing the lowest graduate number in the Union, on the other, we risk being faced with a negative balance soon. So, we have to take care of talent, seriously. It is a social and formative issue. Social, because the organizations must demand the maximum effort in the inclusion of graduates and young profiles, by definition more sensitive and actively engaged in the change taking place. Educational, because the graduates to be included must have the right skills for an ever-changing competitive market.

And we’re not talking about general-generic training. It is called upskilling and deepskilling, and it translates for young people in on-the-job training, which integrates (albeit belatedly) the knowledge that universities still do not provide in a systematic way: cross-skills transcending technical knowledge, accompanied by the “learning to do”, “learning be” and “learning to learn”. It is the junior counterbalance of another gap in our Country, the lack of lifelong learning that, for the most expert profiles, the senior ones, becomes reskilling, and therefore employability.

"The current model of university and post-university education tends to self-protection" follows Iacovone, prompting the universities in the first place to contemplate the change taking place at the market and the global level. A change in the teaching paradigm that, in addition to conveying knowledge, offers a burden of skills that can be used inside the company. On this front, the appeal of the Capri Summit also touches on the institutional front, which has often seen young people as having tended to be demotivated. Today, as the urgency becomes more and more pressing, there is also an opportunity for politics: to put a hand to the motivation of the new generations, supporting them in a change process that is no longer deferable, with Italy finally developing its recipe for curing talent.