Outlook Skills 2019, the report published by OECD, does not really discount Italy. The number of Italian workers who need training, especially digital training, to escape the risk of automation is on the order of 18 percent. Out of the total 18 million employees (2018 estimate), the calculation is quickly made: more than 3 million professional figures are dangerously at risk.
Outlook skills: how to govrn the transformation?
The dreaded millennials who are entering the workforce are taking advantage of statistics due to better digital skills, but these do not translate into computer skills. The criticality is seen in the country’s most productive age group, 35-49, which is seeing a year-on-year increase in employment loss. More than 570,000 jobs have been lost since 2015, with an estimated average of 140,000 per year. Therefore, a strong impetus is needed to recover scientific and digital literacy. Italy ranks third to last in the special world ranking of individuals (with ages 16-65) scoring at or above level 3 in literacy and numeracy (PIAAC test). Behind us only Turkey and Chile. Governing the country’s digital transformation and the introduction of technologies such as AI becomes difficult, if not nearly impossible.
Automation risk now a reality
If Italian companies do not want to lose competitiveness, therefore, they must invest in training and professional updating, increasing that figure that sees only 20 percent of digital technologies present in the workplace compared to a European average of more than 50 percent. Adults in vocational training currently number about 30 percent, well below the European and global average of 42 percent. Italy falls into that quadrant of countries that are highly at risk for the coming automation. Quadrant that by the way sees us in good company with Spain, Greece, Turkey and Poland. At low risk instead are the traditional Nordic countries Denmark, Sweden, Finland but also England and Ireland.