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Guiding Trend 13 May May 2019 0749 13 May 2019

Digital and green, an overview of the labor market in Italy over the next five years

The Excelsior information system of Unioncamere has put together a forecast of Italian employment needs between 2019 and 2023: “Digital Transformation” and eco-sustainability will involve about 30% of the workers companies and public administration will need

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Digital transformation and eco-sustainability. These will be the keywords for the Italian labor market over the next five years. The Excelsior information system of Unioncamere has put together a forecast of Italian employment needs between 2019 and 2023, highlighting how much of employment will be take up by technology and the green economies. And this is what we will have to focus on, to avoid expanding that gap between demand and supply of labor which is increasing year by year (in 2018 it was 26%, five points more than 2017).

Let’s start with the good news. The national stock of employees in the next five years will grow to between 374 thousand and 559 thousand units, at an average annual rate of between 0.3% and 0.5%. With a greater concentration in the North West of the country.

But what features will workers need to have? “Digital Transformation” and eco-sustainability will have a decisive weight in characterizing the employment needs of the various economic sectors, involving around 30% of the workers, which companies and public administration will need in the next five years.

In particular, it is estimated that businesses and public administrations will search for about 270,000 and about 300,000 workers with specific mathematical and IT, digital or skills related to “Industry 4.0”. Among the most requested emerging professional figures on the market will be experts in data analysis, information security, artificial intelligence and market analysis. The new emerging professions in this field will be those of Data Scientists, Big Data Analysts, Cloud Computing Experts Cyber Security Experts, Business Intelligence Analysts, Social Media Marketing Managers, Artificial Intelligence Systems Engineers.

One of the most interesting data is that the search for digital skills will not be confined to “technical” functional areas (Information technology, Design and Research and Development), but will be increasingly present in other areas: administrative, human resources, general services and staff functions. In fact, the demand for digital skills is associated with over nine out of ten profiles. At the same time, even the most exquisitely technical professions, such as programmers, will require more and more relational skills.

The search for digital skills will not be confined to the "technical" functional areas, but will be increasingly present also in other areas. At the same time, more purely relational professions will be required of the more exquisitely technical professions

The work of the next five years, however, will not only be more "digital" but also more "green". In the next five years, between 518,000 and 576,000 workers with environmental skills will be sought by green companies to best seize the opportunities offered by “circular economies”. The demand for green skills will concern, in a transversal manner, both highly specialized and the technical professions, employees such as those in charge of commercial and tourist services, people in charge of services to workers and artisans. Experts in energy management, environmental chemists, green purchasing experts, environmental marketing experts, installers of low environmental impact systems are some examples of green jobs that will be most in demand.

There are five production chains that will drive the future demand for labor, taking up around 25% of the expected employment needs in the period 2019-2023.

In a context of an increasingly aging population, more and more figures related to care will be sought first. Companies and the public sector that operate in the “health and wellness” sector will require the employment of between 362,000 and 381,000 units over the next five years.


Over the next five years, the “education and culture” supply chain will need between 140,000 and 161,000 units, mainly figures such as professors, designers of training courses, translators, designers and organizers of cultural events, experts in communication and marketing of cultural heritage. This supply chain is fundamental to fill the gaps created by the speed of changes in the labor market, which require learning systems along the entire professional path and continuous innovation of educational processes.

In the next five years, between 518,000 and 576,000 workers with environmental skills will be sought by green companies to best seize the opportunities offered by the “circular economy

For companies in the “mechatronics and robotics” sector, which is central to the transition to “Industry 4.0”, the employment requirement may concern between 69,000 and 83,000 workers, always over the five years. The most sought after figures will be technicians for automation and mechatronic systems, technicians for the management and maintenance and use of industrial robots, designers of industrial plants and operators in the programming of numerical control machines. Mechatronics, in particular, is the manufacturing sector.

The “mobility and logistics” sector, which is undergoing profound changes following changes in purchasing and consumption patterns also linked to the spread of online distribution platforms, will be looking for a number of workers ranging between 85,000 and about 98,000 units. Finally, the “energy” sector, needing between 40,000 and 43,000 units, will require, in particular, electricity production technicians, chemical control personnel, conductors of waste recovery and recycling plants and water treatment and distribution.

Economic-statistical graduates, followed by the graduates of the medical-sanitary areas and engineering will be the most in demand graduates

Going into detail, the manufacturing sectors that will have the greatest need for employment will be the machinery, equipment and transport manufacturing industry, the metalwork and metal products industries, the food, beverage and tobacco industries and finally the textile sector, clothing, leather and footwear. Among the services, on the other hand, the main sectors will be trade and repair, health and social assistance, advanced support services for businesses and tourism and catering.

The commercial and service professions will prevail (with a share that will be between 24% and 25% of the total), followed by technical professions (17% in both scenarios) and specialized professions (16% in both scenarios). High school and college graduates should take up 61% of total needs (54% in the private sector, 96% in the public sector). But the comparison of the evolution of the need for graduates with the expected trend of the offer of university titles indicates a possible lack of supply. The graduates most in demand will be those of the economic-statistical address, followed by the graduates of the medical-sanitary address and those of the address engineering. For graduates, a scenario of oversupply should also be maintained in the coming years, with very different situations for various areas. But as is already the case today, it is possible that in the selection choices of company personnel the availability of graduates will partly fill the gaps for graduates. With possible consequent effects on skill-gaps.

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