According to the latest Eurostat figures, there are 3.8 million job vacancies across Europe. These range from laboratory technicians and health personnel in Great Britain (about 851 thousand workers required) to the 537 thousand construction workers and industrial experts needed by the Visegard bloc countries or the 1.2 million drivers, IT specialists, educators and sector employees hotel in Germany.
In short, the problem of bringing labor supply and demand together is not just an Italian prerogative. As we know, the Italian government formed by the Movimento Cinque Stelle and the Lega parties has decided to link job matching to citizenship income, triggering a race to the employment centers. A peak that has brought out the state of the art in the sector: in 2017, according to Istat data, only 0.7% of job center users received a job offer while in 0.3% of cases, an internship was proposed. A result that reflects the limited state financing on which the job centers can count: only 0.04% of GDP against 0.36% spent by Germany, 0.25% from France and 0.14% invested by Spain. To reverse the trend, the Minister of Labor and Economic Development, Luigi Di Maio, has hired Mimmo Parisi, recalling him to Italy to bring the formula set up across the Atlantic, in Mississippi, and to be at the helm of Anpal -the National agency for active labor policies- managing the so-called navigator, or the tutors who will help the beneficiaries of the income to find a job.
Outside the national boundaries, however, there are plenty of examples for greater job matching efficiency. At a European level, for example, about three years ago the pilot project Drop’pin (the opposite of drop out, or abandon) was launched, a platform backed by Eures, the European network of employment services, to help young people between the ages of 18 and 29 take their first steps in the labor market. Drawing from 2.5 million invested by the EU, 814 registered companies, around 2,300 job opportunities published, 7,200 visits registered in October 2018. For the 2018-2020 period, Drop'pin will also be supported by Digital Opportunity traineeships, a pilot project designed to create up to six thousand cross-border traineeships for students and recent graduates. Funded by Orizzonte 2020 and implemented with Erasmus +, these internships allow selected young people (who are guaranteed an allowance of 500 euros per month) to improve their IT skills in fields such as IT security, big data, quantum technology, machine learning, digital marketing and software development.
For those over 35, the EU has put forward Reactivate: the project ensures that organizations and companies based in an EU country and participating in the program offer a contract of employment, apprenticeship or internship for a minimum duration of 6 months, with remuneration and respecting tax and labor legislation of their country. For candidates, the only necessary requisites besides age are nationality and residence in one of the 28 EU countries.
The Italian employment centers today can count on loans that are only 0.04% of GDP, against 0.36% spent by Germany, 0.25% by France and 0.14% invested by Spain
Job matching, however, is not the monopoly of state agencies or supranational bodies. Many companies have specialized in this sector. Moreover, in the age of digitalization and automation of work, ensuring the best profiles, those that respond to increasingly specific needs, is the winning move for the future of every business. The people at Instructure, an American company specialized in the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) segment, are well aware of this, and in January they purchased Portfolium, a student network born in San Diego that acts as a collector of projects, awards and expertise of over 4 million students from 3,600 colleges. “Working with Portfolium allows us to take a step forward towards our mission: to help people transition from class to workplace," Dan Goldsmith, CEO of Instructure commented.
Finally, with regard to the relationship between job search and state subsidy, Finland is the true benchmark. Since 2017, the institute for social security (Kela) has distributed 560 euros a month to a sample of 2,000 randomly selected unemployed people between the ages of 25 and 58. The aim of the experiment was to explore new ways of distributing social safety nets in a world where automation will have an increasing impact on the world of work, at least on traditional jobs. The result? The beneficiaries worked on average 49.64 days, only half a day more than the control group. 43.7% of them worked on their own, one percent more than the control group, but earning on average 21 euros less.