GIOVENTU » Dreaming of working in Italy's public sector

Dreaming of working in Italy's public sector

Working in the public sector is still one of the most sought-after dreams in Italy. Unfortunately, for many it remains a dream, as places are scarce and it is necessary to go through a long selection process.

Applicants for some nurse positions in the public sector made headlines, as over 2,000 people applied for just five nurse positions, on the outskirts of Turin, worth a monthly gross salary of €1,890.

The tests took place in a local basketball stadium, with candidates sitting on benches and filling in their tests on clipboards.

Having thousands of people travelling for these tests all around the country is so common that ex-candidate, Raffaele Di Sieno, who struggled to find the funds to sit the tests when he wanted to become a public-sector nurse set up the scheme "Bus to Go". This is a coach which picks up applicants in the southernmost regions and transports them to test sittings in the north. Exams are always in the north of Italy, so many candidates from the south have to face up to hours of travel.

In the Italian unstable economic situation, a job in the public sector could be one of the few occasions to have a “job for life”.

According to a European Commission study, nearly one in five young Italians are neither employed, job-seeking, nor in full-time study. In January 2018, Italy's youth unemployment rate in the 15 to 24 age group was the third highest of all EU member states, after Greece and Spain.

Istat, the national statistics bureau, said 2.882 million people were unemployed in Italy. The unemployment rate for 15-to-24-year-olds who are actively on the labour market dropped to 31.5% in January, a fall of 1.2 percentage points. This was the lowest level since December 2011, when the youth jobless rate was 31.2%.

Despite this slow recovery, Italy is not an easy place to live in. The 2018 Best Countries report places Italy 22nd out of 80 countries for quality of life. Italy comes, among others, behind Canada, the Nordic countries, the UK, the US and China.

More than 21,000 people worldwide scored countries on factors including liveability, global influence, culture and economic appeal and Italy was placed 15th on the list.

While Italy got top marks for cultural influence and heritage, it scored badly in the 'open for business' and entrepreneurship categories.

What was striking was how badly people ranked Italy for quality of life. However, this comes as no surprise if 2,000 people applied for just five nurse positions travelling from various areas in Italy, to sit for an exam in the north.

Giulia Lombardo

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