Chapter 3. Approaches to deliver active policies in Italy

This chapter discusses regional practices and national initiatives to deliver active labour market policies in Italy. First, it presents the jobseeker profiling tools that are used to outsource employment services and to target active policies in general and it looks at the testing of PIAAC online tool as a method to profile jobseeker skills. Secondly, it discusses the attempt to develop a quasi-market for service providers, covering the co-operation models with private providers, the accreditation process of service providers and the national initiative to outsource job placement services (the reintegration voucher). Thirdly, it analyses the approaches to co-operate with employers, including the new national strategy for employers.


3.1. Introduction

This chapter analyses three specific approaches that are currently being developed in Italy to improve the provision of employment services – profiling jobseekers, outsourcing employment services and reaching out to employers.

Due to the decentralised system of employment services, the practices of service provision vary a lot across the country leading to very unequal access to services and diverse service quality. The National Agency for Active Labour Market Policies (ANPAL) has made good progress to improve the situation by developing jobseeker profiling tools to better target active measures, by enhancing the quasi-market for employment services to involve private providers in the service provision to support the limited resources in the public employment services, and by drafting a strategy for employers to strengthen demand-side services. Nevertheless, all of these approaches need to be developed further, which implies that ANPAL must take an even more assertive role in elaborating the national strategic view on how the system of employment services should function and support the system with modern IT tools, knowledge and training. For example, critical IT tools such as online tools for uploading vacancies and to match jobseekers to vacancies are currently practically missing, leading to inefficient use of resources in local employment offices.

The chapter proceeds as follows. The following section presents the jobseeker profiling tools, including the profiling tools to outsource employment services and to profile jobseeker skills. The third section discusses the attempts to develop a quasi-market for service providers, including the issues with accreditation of services providers and the experience in outsourcing job placement service at the national level. The fourth section provides an overview on employer outreach and demand-side services, including the new national strategy for employers. The final section concludes the chapter.

3.2. Targeting active labour market policies to jobseekers using profiling tools

Most of the Regions and Autonomous Provinces (hereinafter referred to as the Regions) have not developed profiling tools to target active labour market policies and thus national profiling models have been provided centrally. The first national quantitative profiling model was developed by the initiative of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies to target measures under the Youth Guarantee that was launched in 2015. In 2016, the same profiling model was improved further to apply to all jobseekers registered with the public employment service. During 2017-18 a qualitative profiling model was worked out by ANPAL together with the Regions to complement the quantitative profiling models.

In addition, ANPAL has been working on a tool to map jobseekers’ skills, which could add value to the information used for targeting active measures such as training, but could also improve matching jobseekers with suitable vacancies. The online tool of the PIAAC survey developed by OECD has been tested by the system of employment services in Italy to fill this gap.

3.2.1. Regional profiling tools are not systematically used

Efficient allocation of resources for active labour market policies is especially crucial when the financial resources for the measures as well as resources for counselling are very limited, such as is the case in Italy. In order to provide active labour market programs effectively and efficiently, every program should be targeted to these jobseekers that benefit from it the most. On the one hand, this requires the public employment service to be aware of the effects of the programmes it offers, i.e. what works for whom. On the other hand, the public employment service has to be able to identify the characteristics of the jobseekers to assign them to the programs accordingly. Over the years many different approaches have been developed across Italy to tackle this issue, yet the solutions vary in their successfulness. ANPAL has proposed nationwide tools to improve the targeting of active policies, yet the process is still in a preliminary phase.

These targeting methods – or profiling – can involve a rules-based approach where eligibility criteria to programs are set by some observable characteristics such as age or disability. Jobseekers can be targeted to active programs also based on a caseworker’s discretion. This means that the caseworker needs to have profound knowledge about which measures suit for whom and has to master the interviewing techniques to map all the relevant boundaries and opportunities of a jobseeker for a successful labour market integration (also called qualitative profiling). Another method to target active measures is statistical profiling, which is based on statistical/econometric methods using registry and/or survey data to allocate jobseekers across a number of categories according to their needs of support (also called data-based profiling or quantitative profiling). In most OECD countries a mix of these approaches is used to target active labour market policies (see for example OECD (2015[1]), OECD (2018[2]) and Loxha and Morgandi (2014[3]) for overviews of profiling methods used across the OECD countries).

Given that until recently provinces were in charge of employment services, very different approaches have emerged across Italy when it comes to targeting active measures to jobseekers. In total, nine Regions have developed regional profiling tools.1 Three Regions have developed data-based profiling methods to target regional measures to jobseekers. The Veneto region uses them to target programs for jobseekers aged 50+ (la garanzia adulti) and 35+ (l’assegno per il lavoro), the Umbria region to target regional training measures and employment incentives and the Lombardy region to target a regional labour market integration programme (dote unica lavoro2). The Emilia-Romagna region uses a tool mixing quantitative and qualitative approaches to target measures for vulnerable groups. Qualitative tools to target regional measures and/or support intensity are used in Basilicata, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Sardinia, Trento and Tuscany. More specifically, the Autonomous Province of Trento has developed an advanced tool that tries to quantify qualitative data into a quantitative employability index (see Box 3.1).

In more than half of the Regions no distinct profiling/targeting methods have emerged. Thus either the operator/ case worker makes a decision based on her or his personal experience/opinion or a self-selection to programs takes place, e.g. training is provided to a jobseeker who is interested in participating in it, but no additional criteria are set. This, however, will not likely target the policies to these jobseekers that need them and could benefit from these the most, leading to an inefficient use of resources.

Box 3.1. Jobseeker profiling in Trento

The Autonomous Province of Trento uses a profiling tool that measures difficulties of re-employment and is used to target services (such as supported job search or training) according to the specific needs of the jobseeker. The tool is supported by the local IT system and specific training for the counsellors and it takes only 15-20 minutes to fill in the necessary information at the local office.

The profiling tools uses in total 34 variables grouped in six areas:

  1. 1. Personal data – Gender, age, education, employment status;

  2. 2. Professional resources – Past work experience, degrees and positions, qualifications and licences, expertise;

  3. 3. Job search motivation – Suitability of the CV, jobseeking tools, job search intensity, number of interviews during the past 6 months;

  4. 4. Job search constraints – Willingness to relocate, driving licence, readiness for business trips, caretaking responsibilities;

  5. 5. Self efficacy (self-assessment of the jobseeker) – Managing job interviews, planning professional goals, overcoming professional barriers;

  6. 6. Expert opinion (opinion of the counsellor) – Professional capabilities, difficulties in filling in the questionnaire, needs for services to increase employability.

Each variable is assessed on a 10-point-scale in the six groups. The average over the six groups defines an index (also a 10-point-scale), which in turn derives four categories of employability: low, medium, high and very high.

In 2016, an evaluation of the tool was carried out indicating that the parts on self-efficacy and expert opinion contribute particularly to the model’s ability to predict employability.

The output (score) of the profiling tool is used to determine the value of the local job-placement voucher (titolo di acquisto) in the province that the jobseeker can use either with public or private service providers. The individual categories of the tool give additional information for the case worker about the personal needs for services. For example, if the motivation to look for a job is low, an additional support for job search can be offered. If the item “professional resources” is lacking, a training might be suggested.

Source: Chiusole (2018[4]), Profiling Index by Employment Agency. Autonomous Province of Trento.

3.2.2. The success of the national quantitative tools depends on the IT infrastructure

As the models to target active policies to jobseekers in the Italian Regions are of various complexity, quality and effectiveness, additional profiling models have been proposed at the national level. The first initiative to develop a national quantitative jobseeker profiling tool was launched in 2013 to target measures under the Youth Guarantee program. INAPP (then still under the name of ISFOL) developed the model on the request of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affaires using cross-sectional data from the Labour Force Survey from 2011-13. For this, a multilevel logistic model with random intercept was estimated predicting whether a person aged 15-29 is in NEET status or not. This model has been applied to young jobseekers since January 2015 (Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali, 2015[5]).

In 2016, following the Jobs Act, the profiling model was developed further to cover all jobseekers and provide an input for the provision of the new measure called the reintegration voucher (replacement voucher, see Section 3.3). A longitudinal approach was used in the new model (also a multilevel logistic model with random intercept) predicting whether a person aged 15-64 will remain in unemployment in one year using data from the Labour Force Survey from 2011-15 (ANPAL, 2016[6]). The new model introduced additional variables concerning unemployment duration and the enrolment into vocational education programmes by type of programme, in addition to the variables for gender, age, nationality, education level, academic discipline, labour market status in the previous year that were used already in the model for the Youth Guarantee. Although the outputs of this tool are used at the moment only for the national reintegration voucher, the local employment offices can optionally use it also to target other active measures.

Both of these quantitative models use only data from the Labour Force Survey for the individual characteristics of jobseekers as this information is not yet available in any national register nor is there a specific survey collecting information from jobseekers, contrary to the case in many other OECD countries (see OECD (2018[2])). The data availability limits the information used by the tools and undermines their accuracy. For example, as the models do not include data about benefit receipt, the tool does not capture the benefit disincentive effects (less motivation to look for a job when income during unemployment is provided) that can be significant even in a bad economic situation [see for example Lauringson (2012[7])]. Also, the effects of active measures are not taken into account. Only formal education level is included in the model and not upskilling through the system of public employment services. In addition, the data for previous work experience is limited to the labour market status a year ago. The models currently neither include variables indicating medical conditions, caring responsibilities, drug abuse, access to transport, and others, which can strongly impact the probability of transition to employment. Moreover, they do not include behavioural information about the jobseekers’ motivation and expectations. This information is often not available in registry data, but could be retrieved potentially from survey data, such as is the case in the Australian jobseeker profiling tool (see Box 3.2).

Box 3.2. The Job Seeker Classification Instrument in Australia – A questionnaire to cover relevant factors of labour market integration

Australia implemented its Job Seeker Classification Instrument (JSCI) already 20 years ago to target its efforts to those that need the most support, being one of the first countries to develop such a quantitative tool. Although employment services are fully outsourced in Australia, the government still needs a way to identify jobseekers’ barriers to employment so that providers can invest appropriate time and resources in helping them find work.

The JSCI is based on a model that predicts a jobseeker’s likelihood to remain unemployed for another year after commencing in employment services. The information for relevant factors is collected through a combination of administrative data (data from income support application) and a questionnaire for the jobseeker. The JSCI calculates a score for each jobseeker that will help allocate the jobseekers to the different service streams providing them the level of support they need to find and keep a job. In addition to determining servicing levels, the JSCI also includes “triggers” that indicate a need for an additional assessment (the Employment Services Assessment) to identify if the jobseeker has complex or multiple barriers to employment. These “triggers”, such as medical barriers or alcohol abuse, may result in a specialist more closely reviewing the jobseeker’s circumstances and work capacity to determine if they are better suited to one of the main service streams (the most complex of them) or to an additional service stream dedicated for jobseekers with disabilities.

The JSCI questionnaire includes 18 to 49 questions. Generally, a jobseeker with a higher level of disadvantage will have to answer more questions. The main 18 factors involve: age and gender, work experience (e.g. paid seasonal or irregular work), jobseeker history (e.g. duration of income support), educational attainment, vocational qualifications (e.g. not useful vocational qualifications), English proficiency, country of birth, Indigenous status, Indigenous location, geographic location (e.g. extreme disadvantaged employment region), proximity to a labour market (e.g. remote area), access to transport, possibility to contact them by phone, disability/medical conditions, stability of residence, living circumstances (e.g. lone parent with young child), ex-offender status, personal factors (anger issues, caring responsibilities, domestic violence, drug treatment programme).

The JSCI relies on self-disclosure of jobseekers in answering the questions and so the quality of the data is in large part dependent on their honesty and objectivity. Yet, some more sensitive questions are voluntary and the jobseeker can decline to answer them (Indigenous status, refugee status, disability and medical conditions, criminal convictions and personal factors). Nevertheless, the government invests a lot of time and effort to ensure fulsome disclosure by using behavioural-economics techniques, guidance for interviewers and user-centred design of the questions themselves. Jobseekers are encouraged to fully disclose their circumstances to ensure they receive the most appropriate employment services and support.

Source: The Australian Government (2018[8]), Job Seeker Classification Instrument. Overview and Factors. Version 2.0; The Australian Government (2018[9]), Assessments Guideline – Job Seeker Classification Instrument (JSCI) and Employment Services Assessment (ESAt),; The Australian Government (2018[10]), Job Seeker Classification Instrument (JSCI),; Kidd (2018[11]), The Job Seeker Classification Instrument – Using evidence to service job seekers in Australia.

In addition, as the model for all jobseekers uses at present only data from a period characterised by weak labour market conditions (2011-15), it is questionable whether it would be valid still in the current period, when the economy is improving. For the vast majority of the observations in the sample used for developing the profiling tool, the model predicts that they will more likely remain in unemployment after one year than enter employment. For about two thirds of the observations the probability to remain in unemployment is estimated at 70-90% (ANPAL, 2016[6]). As the variation in the outputs of the model is very low, it is questionable how much it helps in targeting the measures and thus how much value added it provides for the process of service provision. Hence, it is necessary to fine tune the profiling tool by including additional variables as well as updating it with data from more recent years.

As the register of jobseekers is not yet fully functional and it is not linked with other registers, jobseekers have to provide the information that is necessary to conduct profiling (age, gender, educational attainment, academic discipline, employment history, etc.) by themselves when registering with the public employment services. As a result, profiling becomes burdensome for the client and the caseworker and the data submitted by the clients might suffer from inaccuracies.

The current national quantitative tools are not perceived to be highly useful by the Regions, but the attitude towards the need for these kinds of tools is rather positive. The tools do not seem to provide good input for service provision as it is not always clear for the counsellors why very similar jobseekers are assigned to different clusters. It would be useful for a counsellor to know which are the main features of the specific jobseeker that drive the result coming out of the model. More explanatory information could be provided about the main challenges and opportunities of the jobseeker (considering the information provided for profiling) to aid the counsellor to suggest the actions for re-integration into the labour market.

Furthermore, the tool is only used for newly registered jobseekers, whereas it could be also useful for those who have been registered for some time and have received employment services. Most of the jobseekers in Italy are currently long-term unemployed (59% in 2017) and the profiling tool could potentially help counsellors also target the active measures to this group of jobseekers.

Moreover, the quantitative profiling tools are currently used for a very limited range of measures only. As the resources for face-to-face counselling are at present extremely restricted in Italy, a quantitative profiling tool could be used also for channel management referring those jobseekers to face-to-face counselling who would benefit from that the most and direct other jobseekers to other channels such as online tools. In addition, such a model could provide input for counselling intensity. Such model would be similar to the one used in the Netherlands (see Box 3.3). The Dutch Work Profiler estimates the probability of jobseekers to resume employment within a year based on a wide array of characteristics, including soft factors such as job search motivation. Jobseekers who have higher probability to enter employment soon are offered initially only online channels for job search support, while jobseekers with greater difficulties receive face-to-face counselling.

Making more use of the individual level data provided for profiling could be used more extensively also at the aggregate level to produce labour market information. Statistics (also at the regional level) showing the trends in the probability of longterm unemployment of the newly registered jobseekers as well as by their main characteristics (e.g. by education level, academic discipline etc.) could give some additional insight about the labour market situation for the stakeholders of the network of employment services as well as for other parties.

Box 3.3. The Work Profiler in the Dutch public employment service to manage counselling channels

The Work Profiler in the Dutch public employment service was first implemented nation-wide in 2014 as a response to budget cuts requiring to channel the majority of the unemployment benefit recipients to e-services (Digital First policy). As in 2016 a new service model was implemented aiming at evidence-based blended services rather than prioritising e-services, the tool has been adapted accordingly.

The Work Profiler is an instrument that indicates a jobseeker’s probability of work resumption within a year determining which channels are offered for the jobseeker (face-to-face or online channels only). In addition, it offers a quick diagnosis of the jobseeker’s obstacles to return to work, feeding into the decision, which services could benefit the jobseeker. Such services can be offered both in face-to-face format and in an online environment.

The profiling model takes into account 11 hard and soft factors: age, job tenure on the previous post, understanding the national language, confidence in finding a job, health situation, previous job search intensity, job search intention, believing that finding a job depends on job-search intensity, general work ability, physical work ability and mental work ability. These factors describe the probability to be integrated to the labour market in a year with 70% accuracy.

The jobseekers with a probability below 50% to return to work in a year are invited for an interview after 7 weeks, others after 6 to 7 months. Nevertheless, those with higher scores can be invited to an interview earlier if the counsellor thinks they need more attention or if these jobseekers themselves wish so. Digital services are offered from the start of the unemployment to everybody (online tips, online training, webinars, online tests, etc.).

An advantage of the tool is that the share of jobseekers provided with face-to-face services is adaptable according to resources available (current cut-off point at 50% probability, but this can be changed in the future).

The next version of Work Profiler will have more advanced input for counsellors regarding the choice of measures – thoroughly described factors of job resumption regarding the specific jobseeker matched with suitable effective (evidence-based) services.

Implementing a profiling model for channel management could be desirable in the system of Italian public employment services as it would help manage the scarce resources for face-to-face counselling more effectively. As the system becomes more efficient due to advancements in IT infrastructure and work processes, more resources will be freed up for face-to-face counselling. The profiling model could be then adapted gradually to take into account these additional resources. Nevertheless, when developing a profiling model for channel management, it should be taken into consideration that the factors that contribute to unemployment length might not be always the same as those which define whether face-to-face counselling method is effective and efficient. That is why the current quantitative models already in place or a model similar to the one used in the Netherlands might not introduce quick benefits for the labour market. An evaluation of face-to-face counselling effects across characteristics of jobseekers would be advisable before implementing a tool for channel management. See for example Maibom et al. (2017[12]) and the respective online appendix (2017[13]) for the effects of face-to-face meetings early on in the unemployment spell and the effects of frequent meetings in van den Berg et al. (2014[14]).

Source: Wijnhoven, M. and H. Havinga (2014[15]), “The Work Profiler: A digital instrument for selection and diagnosis of the unemployed”, Local Economy, Vol. 29/6-7,; and Breedveld, M. (2018[16]), The Work Profiler.

3.2.3. The new qualitative profiling tool complements the quantitative tools

In spring 2018, following consultations with a number of Regions, ANPAL proposed guidelines for employment offices with the aim to harmonise the process of drawing up personal service pacts and the targeting of ALMPs by using a combination of quantitative and qualitative profiling tools. These guidelines propose extending the use of the quantitative tool to all registered jobseekers (not only those eligible to the reintegration voucher and the Youth Guarantee measures) and supplementing it with more qualitative information gathered by case workers. All this information should help the case worker to tailor an appropriate personal service pact (individual action plan) that should contain the actions corresponding the best to the jobseeker’s needs and potential.

The new model proposes the following seven steps to target active policies to jobseekers: i) providing initial information to jobseekers regarding registration and services available; ii) registering jobseekers via online tools; iii) quantitative profiling based on the data provided through the online tools; iv) acquisition of additional documentation for people with disabilities to provide targeted placement services; v) interview with the jobseeker to understand and analyse job opportunities, labour market integration constraints and appropriate active measures to conduct qualitative profiling [accompanied by additional tests (physical-psychological-social capabilities) in case of disabled jobseekers]; vi) an additional in-depth interview to profile the conditions more specifically in case of a more disadvantaged / vulnerable jobseeker (i.e. “an in-depth qualitative profiling”); vii) concluding the individual service pact taking into account the results from quantitative and qualitative profiling; viii) providing active labour market policies accordingly.

The guidelines by ANPAL provide a set of questions that the interview between the case worker and the jobseeker should cover to conduct the qualitative profiling, mostly aiming at understanding the job-search capabilities and practices of the jobseeker and the motivation to look for a job. The questionnaire for the in-depth qualitative profiling for vulnerable jobseekers has not been fully developed yet. As stated in the guidelines, it should cover more specific obstacles such as language barriers, economic conditions, work ability related to disabilities, ability for self-care, etc.

Additionally, the guidelines propose a sample personal service pact indicating the topics it should cover. These topics stem mostly from the law and include among others job-search activities and deadlines, frequency of contact with the employment office, job-search monitoring activities, obligations of the jobseeker to look for a job, participate in a training measure if needed, accept a suitable job offer, sanctions on benefits in case obligations are not fulfilled and commitment by the employment office to provide the agreed services.3

However, the guidelines do not provide any explanation about how the qualitative information collected in the interview with the jobseeker should translate into qualitative profiling and the personal service pact. This might become indeed a major obstacle for putting the qualitative profiling tool into practice. A training of the case workers in the local offices is required in a number of areas. First, training should create an understanding of how the qualitative tool should be applied in practice, and highlight how it helps the caseworker to better understand the obstacles and opportunities of the jobseekers and to assign the best corresponding active policies and job-search activities. In addition, an application of such a qualitative tool requires furthermore interviewing skills (mastering the appropriate techniques), skills of creating a trustful relationship with the jobseeker and skills to gather relevant information. The skills of operators in the employment offices are usually weak in these areas as they have generally not had to conduct such tasks in the past.

The application of the qualitative profiling tool would be further facilitated once it is included in the IT system (the integrated single IT system of active labour market policies called SIU). Contrary to the quantitative profiling, the qualitative profiling is not yet supported by the IT system as this tool is fairly recent and as the development of the new IT system has proved to be problematic in general (see Chapter 2). The tool’s practical application remains questionable until it is fully supported by the IT system (a questionnaire in digital format enabling features such as pop-ups of correct sub-questions, easier use of classifications e.g. for occupations and sectors of desired jobs, guidelines for the counsellor triggered by specific answers, a possibility to have the profiling data available for next meetings with the jobseeker to support counselling process, etc.).

In addition, IT-support would make it feasible to gather the respective data in a structured way, enabling using the data for labour market information (to produce statistics on it supporting decision-making processes, to use the data for evaluating policies, etc.). Furthermore, collecting the survey data within the qualitative profiling tool digitally creates the possibility to use that data in the future to refine the quantitative tool. Topics such as practices and motivation for job search suggested to be covered by the qualitative tool could potentially increase the accuracy of the quantitative tool as well.

Another obstacle to put qualitative profiling into practice lies in the perspective resistance from those Regions which did not participate in the working group to develop the tool and which might be thus less convinced by its usefulness. Those Regions might need even more encouragement and technical assistance to implement it.

Nevertheless, the proposed set of guidelines for the operators in the employment offices is a good initiative towards harmonising the targeting of active policies and the application of activation conditionality via the service pact. If the proposed principles were put into practice nationwide, it would have the potential to increase the effectiveness of ALMPs. Yet at the moment it is still to be considered a light approach to qualitative profiling as the topics covered are fairly general, the supporting skills and infrastructure are missing, and above all, it is not a mandatory tool. Whether the Regions will make use of the tool and whether it leads to more harmonisation of service standards will depend on how ANPAL will be able to facilitate its adoption and communicate its usefulness. Thus, ANPAL needs to communicate the objectives of the tool and provide technical assistance for implementation to the local employment offices through the regional staff of ANPAL Servizi (the in-house entity of ANPAL which has a regional outreach).

3.2.4. A recent attempt to map jobseekers’ skills using the PIAAC online tool

The recent testing of the PIAAC online assessment tool on the Italian jobseekers showed that it proves to be too cumbersome to map the skills of the jobseekers and that it does not fulfil the needs of the public employment services completely. A tool covering cognitive and non-cognitive skills in a “common language” for jobseekers and employers should be developed to provide input for targeting training and providing matching services.

In addition to the quantitative and qualitative profiling tools developed in Italy, ANPAL has tested the PIAAC Education & Skills Online Assessment tool developed by the OECD as a tool for profiling the jobseekers’ skills. The Education & Skills Online Assessment tool provides individual-level results for cognitive skills – literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environment – similarly to the OECD Survey of Adult Skills named PIAAC (OECD, 2018[17]). More recently, non-cognitive assessments have been added to this tool involving skill use, career interest and intentionality, subjective well-being and health and behavioural competencies (so-called soft skills). Unfortunately, the behavioural competencies module was not included in the testing implemented in Italy.

The testing was launched in June 2017. It was expected to involve 211 local employment offices across the country (about a third of all public employment offices) to test 4 566 jobseekers (unemployment period at least 6 months and enrolled in active measures) by February 2018. The exact selection of the jobseekers and the employment offices as well as the integration of the assessment tool in the business model and the use of its results was left up to the regional authorities. The aim was to investigate if the local offices would see an added-value in the assessment tool as well as to gather feedback about satisfaction among the participating jobseekers. As the assessment tool proved to be more time consuming than expected (also due to inadequate internet connection, inadequate hardware and lack of dedicated space in some offices) and as the staff numbers in the offices were too limited to absorb the additional workload, it was possible to assess only 3 704 jobseekers from 181 local offices by June 2018. 3 351 jobseekers completed the assessment fully (353 jobseekers did not finish the assessment).

In general, a third of jobseekers (32.4%) that took part in the test, considered the PIAAC online tool to be very useful in setting the job integration plans with the Public local employment offices – Centri per l’Impiego (CPI), and a half (48.8%) thought it to be rather useful (ANPAL, 2019[18]). Above all, the jobseekers thought the tool helped them to understand their strengths and weaknesses and target their skills better. Also, most of the jobseekers (95.3%) considered the post-assessment support from the CPI counsellor to be useful or even very useful to understand the results.

The feedback from the counsellors that implemented the PIAAC online tool, indicated that a majority believed that the tool could be useful for jobseeker activation and skill profiling (about two thirds of the counsellors regarding both activities). Profiling the problem solving skills was deemed to be particularly useful (75.1% of the counsellors). However, the majority of counsellors (72.9%) did not suggest to start using this tools regularly in its current form.

In general, the PIAAC tool maps well literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills, enables some reflection on jobseeker’s potential to be integrated in the labour market and gives some general input for training needs. Thus, this assessment tool could be potentially used for targeting active measures, particularly targeting some forms of training. However, the value added for a public employment service would be higher for a tool that covers a wider array of skills, particularly soft skills. Hence, it is a missed opportunity that the part on behavioural competencies of the tool was not tested at all in Italy.

If the current test were to be retained, it should be shortened to minimise the time jobseekers spend on it. The current duration of the test [on average 2 hours and 20 minutes fill in the test (ANPAL, 2019[18]) and an additional half hour to analyse and interpret the results4 with the case worker] is too long if the test were to be taken by all jobseekers. Alternatively, the PIAAC online tool could be offered on a voluntary basis to jobseekers and could be filled in at home. In addition, the jobseeker could focus on these fields where the skill mapping could potentially provide most useful information for the service provision (not all jobseekers have to go through mapping literacy and numeracy skills). Its results could provide some complementary input to the main skill profiling tool used by the case workers.

It is more useful to develop a skill profiling tool that feeds better into mapping training needs and simultaneously into matching jobseekers to vacancies (for examples tools used by the public employment services in Belgian Flemish part (VDAB, see Box 3.4), Germany or France could be seen as good practices). In this case the skills (generic, technical as well as non-cognitive skills) could be mapped by the jobseeker as a self-assessment during on-line registration (and validated if necessary by the case worker, designated career counsellors or even by former employers) and the same easily understandable (i.e. in “common language”) classification should be used by employers when inserting a vacancy for job mediation. For example, the French public employment service uses for jobseekers and vacancies a classification of more than 400 skills and competencies (i.e. beyond the essential skills like literacy and numeracy in PIAAC, and including 14 soft skills). It is crucial that the skill profiling tool is bi-directional to map the skills of jobseekers as well as the skills needed for the vacancies.

Box 3.4. Skill profiling and matching in the Flemish public employment service

The Flemish public employment service in Belgium (VDAB) uses COMPETENT, a classification built on the ROME v3 classification of competences (Répertoire Opérationnel des Métiers et des Emplois) originating from the French public employment service. VDAB adapted this classification to respond to the needs of the Flemish labour market, allowing for sufficient detail and comprehension to produce accurate matching of jobseekers to vacancies.

Jobseekers indicate their level of competences as a self-assessment during registration, for example using a list of competences associated with a specific occupation. Alternatively, jobseekers can create a tailored profile without considering an explicit occupation. The competences are updated when the jobseeker completes a training programme. The competences can be validated by accompanying them with competence certificates and references form previous employers and with training course certificates from the respective register.

Employers use the same classification of competencies to upload their vacancies in the VDAB’s system. Similarly to jobseekers, employers are provided with a list of competencies (along with skills and capabilities to clarify the competencies) that are usually connected to the specific occupation, from which the employer can choose the relevant ones to the vacancy at hand. The employer can also set for each competency whether it is required for the job or desired. The employers can add necessary competencies for the job beyond the list that is usually associated with that occupation, contributing to the accuracy of matching.

The matching system called “ELISE” matches job interests with vacancies. The employer can see in real time how many jobseekers fit the profile accompanied by the share of requirements met. In this way, the employer gets information also about these jobseekers that are not a perfect match, but could still potentially be a fit. Similarly, a gap between a jobseeker’s profile and the set of competencies usually required for the desired job feed into drawing up jobseekers’ individual action plans and potential training programmes. This tool providers counsellors also with a screening device to focus on the customers that need more support.

Vacancies with high matching quality are automatically sent to the jobseeker, though jobseekers can explore also vacancies that are not matching perfectly. In addition, VDAB has implemented a Recommender system using Big Data to improve its matching service further. Based on individual user interests (feedback to specific vacancies, clicking and time spent on looking at vacancies) and comparing to the interest of other similar jobseekers, the system makes recommendations to the jobseeker which other vacancies could be of interest to him or her.

Source: VDAB (2015[19]), Dotting the I’s in IT. VDAB innovates with information,; Pieterson, W. (2017[20])Being Smart With Data, Using Innovative Solutions. Practitioner’s Toolkit,; EC (2017[21]), The VDAB’s Innovation Lab. Summary Report, EC,; Blazquez, M. (2014[22]), Skills-based profiling and matching in PES,

A straightforward way to implement an effective bi-directional skill profiling in the Italian system would be to analyse if a classification of skills used in Belgium or France (which essentially use the same ROME classification5 as the basis) fits in the labour market needs in Italy (whether all relevant skills are there, whether there are some rudimentary skills in the classification, whether the classification is detailed enough) and adapt it if necessary. Alternatively, possibilities to use the European Classification of Skills/Competencies, Qualifications and Occupations [(ESCO)6 could be examined (for instance the public employment services in Ireland and Iceland have recently started using it to improve services for employers and jobseekers (EC, 2018[23])]. The chosen and adapted classification should be built in the IT systems relevant for vacancy insertion, jobseeker registration and matching jobseekers to vacancies, accompanied by guidelines for the users and training for staff in the local employment offices.

3.3. Developing a quasi-market for service providers

Outsourcing employment services to private service providers can be an effective way to provide the services while minimising the costs (OECD, 2015[1]). Introducing competition between private service providers and possibly with public service providers will reduce the service delivery costs and stimulate new innovative solutions. The system of employment services would have potentially access also to additional capacity and specialist skills by expanding the pool of service providers beyond the public ones. On top of that, this additional resource can be managed in a flexible way as it does not require an increase in public sector employment (PARES, 2016[24]). As the Italian system of public employment services lacks staff, skills, and efficient processes and as the number of employees in the public sector is capped, outsourcing employment services to private providers could potentially be the way to address many of the challenges in the delivery of employment services in Italy. Currently, the market for service providers is not yet well developed in Italy and the approaches tend to be very fragmented across the country. The funding model chosen for contracting out, the market management as well as the selection of service providers and their performance measurement are crucial aspects determining whether an outsourcing model is successful [PARES (2016[24]), OECD (2015[1])]. Lessons could be learned from other OECD countries which rely on private providers for a variety of employment services.

3.3.1. The approaches towards co-operating with private service providers are mixed

Though the legal system allowed private providers to deliver employment services already before the Jobs Act was passed, this approach is not yet well rooted in Italy. In addition, as the system did not used to be nationally co-ordinated, the extent of market open to private providers differs considerably among the Regions. In addition to the differences across the country regarding how discriminatory the market is, there are some services that are always provided by the public offices and which currently delay the process of service provision for clients regardless which provider is chosen.

The provision of employment services was formally opened to private providers in Italy during the late 1990s and thoroughly reformed in the early 2000s (with the so-called Biagi Decree, Legislative Decree No. 276/2003) and strengthened again with the Jobs Act (Legislative Decree No. 150/2015). The Jobs Act basically repeats what was already set by the Biagi Decree, but additionally entrusts the newly created ANPAL the role of promoting, regulating and monitoring the quasi-market for employment services at the national level as an alternative to regional level markets managed by the regional authorities.

Despite the insufficiencies regarding staff and skills in the public employment offices, the Regions have been slow in developing the systems to outsource some of the tasks to private providers. Even 20 years after the first legal provisions to open the market, not all of the Regions and Autonomous Provinces have a fully functioning system in place. For example, as of 2017 the Autonomous Province of Bolzano does not have an accreditation system in place and the accreditation registers are not activated in Apulia, Emilia Romagna, Calabria, Molise and Liguria.

The methods adopted vary considerably between the Regions. For example, the approaches differ regarding whether and how the quality of services is aimed at (e.g. whether and how large parts of the fees and for which kinds of services base on performance, are the labour market integration results monitored at all). For example, in case of a job placement service package called ricollocami in Campania, the fees are higher in case of longer employment contract as a result of services provided.7 Job-placement service package for particularly disadvantaged groups called buono per servizi al lavoro in Piedmont region does not aim at performance, but rather that the services are indeed for the jobseekers provided. In Abruzzo region, no similar set-up to outsource job placement services from private providers exists. In the Sardinia region an initiative to measure performance and make the results available for jobseekers has been implemented to encourage better results (see Box 3.5).

Box 3.5. Publishing performance indicators of private providers in Sardinia to achieve better quality

Sardinia has developed a system to rank the providers of regional job placement services to encourage competition between providers and thus to increase service quality. The results of the ranking are made available for jobseekers who can access these via online tools before choosing the provider.

The ranking of service providers is based on a performance index that takes into account the share of jobseekers integrated successfully to the labour market relative to their difficulty to be integrated (based on the profiling results of the jobseeker), the duration of the employment contracts for successful job placements (including different scores for fixed-term and open-ended contracts) and the satisfaction of the jobseekers participating in the service. Data about the satisfaction of jobseekers is collected by service providers via a questionnaire covering different aspects of the service. Service providers have to put effort in this exercise as if the input about jobseeker feedback is missing, the final score cannot be published.

The ranking is made available for jobseekers by sector of activity and by regional areas. Nevertheless, jobseekers might not always choose the highest ranking providers as others suit better e.g. because of their location.

Source: Boy, G. (2018[25]), Esternalizzazione dei Servizi per il lavoro.

In addition, the regional approaches differ particularly in terms of which employment services are open for private providers and to what extent the services are outsourced. All of the Regions reserve some services to be provided only by the public employment offices, particularly the administrative activities such as certification of the unemployment status, etc. Thus, the first contact point for the jobseeker is always the public employment office where the first activities are carried out such as confirming the availability to work and providing the preliminary information on obligations and services. Most of the Regions, with the exceptions of Campania, Calabria, Lombardy, Piedmont, Sardinia and Veneto, reserve also the profiling activities only for the public system. Thus, the market for private providers is in some Regions more discriminatory than others.

As of spring 2018, about half of the Regions use the complementarity approach, where some services are delivered only by the public employment offices and some others only by private providers (Figure 3.1). Six Regions consider their model of working with the service providers to be oriented towards public providers, with a restricted range of services being outsourced and a wider range of services being delivered only by the public offices. Two Regions use a private providers oriented service model, where a wider range of services is outsourced and a restricted range of services is delivered only by the public offices, while two Regions use a model of competition between public and private providers. The Autonomous Province of Bolzano does not have a clear model developed yet.8 Several Regions are planning to change their approach to outsourcing services, but the changes are taking place in opposite directions and thus no convergence will take place (4 will use a public oriented model, 4 a private oriented model, 2 a competition model and 11 a complementary model).

Figure 3.1. Regional models to work with private providers
Figure 3.1. Regional models to work with private providers

Note: CPI: Centri per l’Impiego – Public local employment office. Category 1: A public providers oriented service model (accreditation model with a restricted range of services in outsourcing and a wider range of services delivered only by CPIs). Category 2: A private providers oriented service model (accreditation model with a wider range of services in outsourcing and a restricted range of services delivered only by CPIs). Category 3: A complementary model (accreditation model with some services delivered by CPIs and some others by private providers). Category 4: A competition between public and private providers (accreditation model involving competition between public and private providers). Category 5: No unique concept.

This map is for illustrative purposes and is without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory covered by this map.

Source: Authors’ own compilation based on the data gathered via a questionnaire among the Regions by the OECD in May to June 2018.


As such, although the resources are limited in all Regions, the willingness to develop a market for private providers and contract services out is not high in all of them. Thus, the capacities to provide different labour market services are quite limited and discriminating private providers in many of the Regions. In addition, as some administrative tasks are always provided by the public offices (especially related to the data about jobseekers) and as these tasks are not currently efficiently organised (see Chapter 2), these inefficiencies affect also the workflow of the private providers. After a jobseeker registers online his/her availability for work, this has to be confirmed in the local public employment office (which takes time) and only after the eligibility to receive a specific service that is open for private providers is confirmed (e.g. job placement in some Regions), can the jobseeker contact the private provider for service provision. As a result, access to services provided by either public or private service providers takes too long time. This is likely to prolong unemployment duration and reduce the effectiveness of the services and measures provided.

Hence, in addition to improving efficiency in the public employment offices, more homogeneous and open markets for the private service providers should be considered to improve the overall performance of the system of employment services. A good example of how to achieve high performance in a fully open market can be found in Australia (see Box 3.6). The Australian system determines the fees on the basis of results achieved, publishes performance outcomes to enhance competition, ensures that the minimum standard of quality certification is in place and allows for adjustments in market shares according to the results. These are aspects that the Italian system should aim at to increase effectiveness and quality of services. Though in the Australian case largely private providers compete for delivering employment services, the model can as well allow competition between public and private providers in Italy.

Box 3.6. Outsourcing employment services in Australia – Encouraging competition between service providers to improve performance

Employment services in Australia moved from a public sector monopoly to a procured market in 1998. Unlike most other countries around the world, Australia outsources all its employment services to not-for-profit and for-profit employment services providers. This transition was undertaken first to improve performance – to harness market competition and contestability to achieve a more efficient and cost effective employment services model. And second, to make employment services more responsive to the individual needs of jobseekers, to provide all eligible jobseekers with the help they need, when they need it.

Jobactive is the largest programme through which employment services are delivered. It is a network of 42 non-government providers contracted by the Australian Government to deliver employment services in 51 employment regions operating from over 1 700 locations. The government regulates the number of providers that operate in each employment region and determines their market share. Providers are selected through a competitive process and compete to service jobseekers. Providers cannot choose the jobseekers they serve (jobseekers can choose a provider or are allocated automatically if they do not choose a provider).

Under current arrangements, the government determines the price and mix of services that employment providers will deliver. The services are not delivered in a complete “black box” model as the government needs to monitor that the jobseekers fulfil their obligations (e.g. requirements for job search).

There is a strong focus on results (job integration and job retention) by linking the service providers’ fees with outcomes. Outcome payments reward providers when jobseekers reach 4 weeks, 12 weeks and 26 weeks in employment. Outcome payments are also dependent on the jobseekers’ characteristics: they are higher for jobseekers with higher barriers to employment and who have been unemployed for longer time. Further, the fee structure recognises the additional challenges and costs faced by Jobactive providers in regional (i.e. remote) areas as the fees are there 25% higher than in non-regional areas. Providers are paid a flat service fee in addition to the outcome payment.

To further ensure disadvantaged jobseekers receive the support they need, jobseekers who have been assisted by a single provider for an extended period of time without a positive employment outcome, are automatically transferred to a new provider. This approach seeks to offer jobseekers a different service provision to improve their prospects of getting a job. To deter providers from using the policy as a mechanism to have their least job-ready jobseekers transferred, providers’ market shares are adjusted quarterly to account for the net gain or loss of transferred jobseekers.

The performance of providers is monitored through a Quality Assurance Framework (the minimum standard of quality) certification process and a “star rating” system. Star ratings are allocated by comparing the provider’s performance scores to the average scores for all Jobactive providers to determine the relative differences (taking into account jobseeker characteristics and local labour market conditions). These differences or “star percentages” are then allocated to the five performance bands to award the star rating. Hence, providers cannot simply maintain a constant level of performance to achieve a constant rating, because the ratings are a relative performance measure. In order to maintain or improve their rating, their performance across outcomes and measures must improve continuously in line with or better than the national average [see OECD (2014[26]) and Australian Government (2017[27]) for further details about the star rating system]. In cases where a provider suffers from consistently poor performance, the Government may reallocate some (in extreme cases the whole) of a provider’s market share to its competitors.

Source: Kidd, M. (2018[28]), The Australian Experience – Outsourcing Employment Services.

3.3.2. Accreditation process of private service providers is fragmented

The step of accrediting service providers in the processes of contracting out employment services has been slowly implemented in Italy. While most of the Regions have finally a system in place by now, the rules tend to be quite heterogeneous, leading to a fragmented market and therefor to unequal access and quality of services for the clients. A national strategic view has to be developed and the regulations should be adopted accordingly to improve the system.

The selection of private providers eligible to provide employment services follows a three-step-model which was established already in the early 2000s and relaunched in 2015 with the Jobs Act:

  1. 1. The private providers have to be authorised by ANPAL (previously by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies) based on technical requirements, such as the size of share capital, number of employees and logistic arrangements. The requirements are different depending on whether the provider is a temporary work agency, provides job mediation services or job placement services. Some not-for-profit organisations and public entities are entitled to provide employment services by law and do not need additional authorisation (trade unions, universities, schools, municipalities, etc.).

  2. 2. The service providers are accredited by applying additional qualification requirements which are determined by every Region. Overall, the regional accreditation systems include legal and financial requirements as well as structural and professional requirements.9

  3. 3. Service contracts are concluded with authorised and accredited service providers to specify the volume of the services and the fees. Alternatively, the third step is skipped in a model where service vouchers are provided to the jobseekers who can then choose a service provider freely among all the accredited service providers. As of 2018, this approach has been implemented only in the Lombardy region, while all other Regions where accreditation systems have been developed, apply tendering process and contractual agreements with the service providers.

Prior to the Jobs Act, the Regions could decide on their own how these three steps would be implemented in practice. However, for example by 2010 only five Regions had developed a regional accreditation system and even these were not yet all fully operational. Over the years the number of regional accreditation systems has increased, partially also because of the implementation of the Youth Guarantee program in 2015. Nevertheless, by the time that the Jobs Act was passed, still five out of 21 Regions and Autonomous Provinces had not implemented an accreditation system. It is still missing in Autonomous Province of Bolzano and not fully functional in several other Regions as of the beginning of 2018 (ANPAL, 2018[29]). To overcome this issue, the Jobs Act added a national level to the system. The private service providers can be now accredited by ANPAL in case the Region where service providers want to operate has not got an accreditation system in place. Additionally, ANPAL can accredit these service providers which wish to operate across different Regions. ANPAL developed the criteria for national accreditation as one of its first activities in 2016.

The service providers have to be registered in the regional registers of accredited employment service providers in order to access public funding controlled by the regional authorities. Additionally, ANPAL has set up a national register of accredited service providers as was required by the Jobs Act. This is a publicly available register on ANPAL’s website,10 which contains i) providers of employment services which wish to provide general employment services and job mediation services at national level and are accredited by ANPAL; ii) providers of employment services at regional level accredited by the Regions according to their requirements (though not yet all these providers are in the national register yet); iii) providers of employment services which wish to provide services at regional level, but where the regional system is not functional and that are thus accredited by ANPAL.11

Thus, in addition to differences in which employment services are outsourced, also the criteria limiting the access to service provision and thus public funding vary across Italy. A distinctive region in this respect is Lombardy, where even the public employment offices have to be accredited in order to provide employment services. Nevertheless, the criteria for accreditation vary also among the rest of the Regions leading potentially to diverse capacity and quality of the service providers across Italy. In addition, the abundance of diverse rules (national and regional level, different regional rules) and their changes over time are also often not clear to the service providers, eroding any stability of the market and its growth further. Thus, as a whole, the market for employment services is far from being homogeneous and fully functional.

ANPAL has attempted to homogenise the system,12 but due to a lack of co-operation by some of the Regions, particularly if the proposed system seems either inferior to theirs or unachievably difficult to implement, fragmentation still exists. More regulation from the national level is needed for positive effects of an open market to emerge.

The United Kingdom has the most experience in large-scale outsourcing of employment services in Europe, having had time to learn from its mistakes and take corrective actions (see Box 3.7). The principles of the functioning of the quasi-market developed in the United Kingdom could be taken into consideration when building the system in Italy. ANPAL cannot determine the operation of the quasi-market for regional measures, which is up to the Regions, but it can apply and follow these principles and guidelines for the national measures, i.e. the reintegration voucher and the Youth Guarantee. In addition, ANPAL should develop a national strategic view on how the quasi-market of employment services should function in Italy and then support this framework on the national level. This strategy should aim at enhancing coopetition between service providers, but also between the Regions, developing a management information system that supports performance monitoring by the Regions, but also supports the Regions to monitor the providers.

Box 3.7. Outsourcing employment services in the United Kingdom – The strategic principles and lessons learnt

The United Kingdom has been outsourcing employment services using quasi-market arrangements already since the 1980s, covering increasingly more client groups over time. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), which is responsible for employment services in the United Kingdom, applies performance-based contracts for outsourcing employment services, providing strong incentives for the providers to deliver the desired outcomes.

Contracting out employment services is one element of DWP’s overall package to support benefit claimants in finding employment and it is linked closely with the work of the network of public employment services (Jobcentre Plus). Employment services are contracted out when:

  • A group of claimants is identified which would benefit from additional support that cannot easily be provided through Jobcentre Plus (e.g. jobseekers with disabilities).

  • There is a need to quickly expand the capacity of service provision (e.g. economic downturns) using private investment.

  • It is beneficial to transfer the financial risk of scaling operations up and down.

  • There is a clearly defined outcome DWP wants to achieve (e.g. sustained job outcomes) for which providers can be paid predominantly by their performance.

Although DWP has long experience in contracting out employment services, the system has not run perfectly. The Work Programme introduced in 2011 suffered first from unrealistic targets, the funding level was insufficient to help jobseekers further from the labour market, the market was dominated by only a few contractors, the profiling system did not incentivise providers adequately and the performance measurement system was not serving its purpose. However, DWP has learnt from its mistakes and continuously improves the functioning of the quasi-market arrangement having taken several actions during the past years (see Table 3.1), which can serve as sound principles for other public employment services to develop a quasi-market for employment services, such as the one in Italy. Of course, a continuous improvement process is necessary to further enhance the functioning of the system in the United Kingdom. For example, the rating of providers by their performance could be still made fairer and the contracts with bad performers could be terminated more decisively.

Table 3.1. Lessons learned in the DWP to achieve a well-functioning quasi-market of employment services


Action taken

Build strong, strategic relationships with providers and be a good customer to improve the functioning of the quasi-market.

Worked with providers to avoid setting unrealistic targets.

Regular senior meetings between the DWP and providers.

Worked with providers to remove unnecessary barriers stemming from the outsourcing system.

Link what you want (outcomes, i.e. sustained employment) with what you pay for to achieve the results.

Payment by results principles extended across programmes.

Amended sustainment validation process, only paying for valid outcomes.

A clear, transparent view of performance drives performance.

Developed comprehensive management information system across all service provision.

Use a measure to rank providers and report it through the management information system.

Introduced cohort-based performance measures across programmes (performance measured and managed by cohorts of participants defined by the participation starting month).

A central single source of information has to inform discussions.

Performance information issued in advance of all monthly review meetings by the DWP.

Robust and consistent action against providers who do not deliver, in order to increase the quality of services.

Taken early intervention action, for example through issuing Management Letters and issuing Performance Improvement Notices. It is necessary to terminate contracts if early intervention does not produce results.

The DWP needs to centrally co-ordinate and facilitate learning across the market of employment services to enhance competition.

Produced top performers reports.

Facilitated best practice workshops where better performers share their experience with those performing less well.

Check that providers are focusing on shared priorities.

Analyses led by performance managers in DWP to identify provider strengths and/or areas for improvement.

Source: OECD (2014[26]), Connecting People with Jobs: Activation Policies in the United Kingdom,; Butler, N. (2018[30]), Contracted Employment Provision in the UK.

3.3.3. The reintegration voucher to outsource services needs some redesign

To develop the quasi-market for employment services and overcome the regional fragmentation of contracting out employment services, the Jobs Act introduced the reintegration voucher (assegno di ricollocazione),13 a new active labour market measure at the national level. This measure was designed also as a backdoor to harmonise the employment services and strengthen ANPAL’s power anticipating the negative outcome of the constitutional referendum which would limit the possibilities to centralise the responsibilities for employment services to the national level. ANPAL was put in charge to design, implement and monitor this new measure.

The reintegration voucher is in essence a job-placement service involving drawing up an individual action plan14 for job search and support from a job-search coach. It targets unemployment benefit (NASPI) recipients who have already completed a 4-month job-search period. As the jobseeker can choose a service provider for this service her/himself, it is meant to encourage competition between public and private service providers and thus improve the quality and timeliness of the services provided. The fees for service providers depend on how close a jobseeker is to the labour market (the outputs of the quantitative profiling tool, see Subsection 3.2.2) and on the results of the service (whether the jobseeker finds a job and the type of employment contract signed).15

This measure was implemented in 2017 first as a pilot where close to 30 000 benefit recipients were chosen randomly and were invited to participate. However, only 9.6% of the invitees had applied for the reintegration voucher by November 2017. One reason for this low take-up rate was that many NASPI recipients exhausted their benefits soon during the following months and were no longer eligible for the reintegration voucher (almost 40% of the invitees to the measure had exhausted NASPI by the beginning of November 2017). A few (6%) of the jobseekers had also found a job without the voucher (ANPAL, 2017[31]).

Another reason for the low take-up rate is the activation conditionality which is imbedded in the design of the voucher. The voucher recipients are obliged to carry out the activities in the individual action plan agreed with the service provider and accept a suitable job offer. As activation conditionality has not been implemented in practice in general for the jobseekers so far, the additional obligations accompanying reintegration voucher can be intimidating for the jobseekers. It means that the current design of the voucher in the context of no general activation conditionality on benefit recipients might have adverse effects on labour market outcomes as jobseekers have an incentive to extend their unemployment period until the end of benefit receipt before turning to a job placement service.

Indeed, many of the jobseekers did let their benefit exhaust without applying for this new measure and most of the jobseekers who did apply, were close to benefit exhaustion. For example, 14.3% of those NASPI recipients whose potential end of benefit was in June 2017 applied by November 2017, but only 6.5% of those whose benefit end was in June 2018 (ANPAL, 2017[31]). On the other hand, jobseekers during the first four months of NASPI cannot access the reintegration voucher even if they were interested in it. In the context of virtually inexistent other job-search counselling services means that there is no support available for jobseekers during the beginning of their unemployment spell.

Possibly, the main reason for the low take-up rate is that similar regional measures exist in many Italian Regions [for example in Lombardy, Autonomous Province of Trento, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Marche, Lazio, Campania, Sardinia, see ANPAL (2017[31])]. These are in essence job placement services which may have somewhat different target groups [such as long-term unemployed and people over 50 years of age in the Adult Guarantee (la garanzia adulti) in Veneto], different set of measures included in the package [training, internships, employment incentives in addition to job integration service in ricollocami in Campania; attendance benefit for jobseekers without income support as well as employment incentives in the Integrated Employment Plan (il piano integrato per l’occupazione) in Tuscany] or different set of service fees (not necessarily focusing on performance). Despite some differences in design, these regional measures compete with the national reintegration voucher. The local employment offices might tend to offer rather the regional measures to the jobseekers as these are believed to correspond better to the local needs. Indeed, the limited service package of the reintegration voucher is highlighted by the local offices as its downside. For example, although the individual action plan developed in the framework of the reintegration voucher should include a path for occupational retraining if necessary, the voucher does not cover the training programme itself. Such additional service should then be outsourced by the employment offices. In addition, the duplication of measures offered at the regional and national levels tends to be confusing for the jobseekers.

There are three types of selection and accreditation procedures to find eligible service providers under the reintegration voucher: i) some public employment offices are selected by the regional authorities as eligible to provide the reintegration voucher; ii) private service providers are accredited according to the regional accreditation systems; iii) private service providers are accredited at the national level by ANPAL (ANPAL, 2017[32]). By November 2017, there were 354 public employment offices (about three quarters of the primary offices), 1 151 private providers accredited on national level and 262 private providers accredited on regional level approved to provide services under the reintegration voucher. Although there were many more private than public service providers eligible to provide the service, jobseekers preferred the private providers only slightly over the public ones [52.1% of jobseekers received the service from private providers and 47.9% from public providers (ANPAL, 2017[31])]. This indicates that the reintegration voucher has fulfilled its purpose at least to some extent, as both private and public providers are well represented in the service provision and some level of competition is likely to take place. Nevertheless, the decision of jobseekers to get enrolled in the measure and the choice of a service provider might be to some degree determined by the geographic location of service providers and the access to their offices as jobseekers from remote and rural areas are less likely to get enrolled in the reintegration voucher.

The reintegration voucher was implemented in 2017 first as a pilot in order to conduct a thorough evaluation before rolling it out. The evaluation plan involved a process and implementation analysis, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the measure, an analysis of the efficiency and quality of the services provided and a cost-benefit analysis of the reintegration voucher (ANPAL, 2017[33]). However, a proper evaluation of the effects can be in practice conducted only after some time has passed after the measure has been provided as immediate effects often differ from medium and longer-term effects. As such, it was possible to conduct only preliminary estimations in the end of 2017 that did not provide yet a solid understanding of the true effects of the reintegration voucher. Regardless, the programme was extended to all NASPI recipients unemployed at least four months (plus some groups of employees going through collective redundancies) in 2018.

The evaluation results on the effectiveness of the reintegration voucher were ready early 2019 (ANPAL, forthcoming[34]). The local average treatment effect for those NASPI recipients who were randomly assigned to be eligible for the reintegration voucher and who then applied for the voucher in the piloting period in 2017 (2 464 people out of 25 456 assigned in total)16 was estimated using the NASPI recipients who were not assigned to the experiment (298 519 people) as the comparison group. This estimation set-up allows to draw conclusions only on those NASPI recipients who applied for the voucher (average treatment effect on the treated), but not to potentially extend it on those, who were assigned to be eligible, but decided not apply for the voucher.

The estimations on the effects of the reintegration voucher on different indicators of employment showed all statistically insignificant results – on employment status one year after the start of the pilot, on employment stability, on waiting period for entering employment after the start of the pilot and on the share of employed days during the first year after starting the pilot. One of the reasons, why the estimations do not show significant positive results, is that the data used for the analysis does not include information about other services and measures that either the people in the treatment or the comparison group received. It is likely that the NASPI recipients in the comparison group received more often regional measures similar to the national reintegration voucher (having no accessibility to the national measure), which dissolves the effects of the national reintegration voucher in the estimation results. Additionally, as a relatively low share of NASPI recipients applied for the voucher, the number of observations might be too low for producing statistically significant results. Indeed, the estimation results regarding effects on employment status one year after and the share of employment days within a year indicate that the results for North-Eastern regions have a potential to be statistically significant if the number of observations in the treatment group were higher. In addition, this indicates that the effects of the reintegration voucher might depend on the regional practices in place and how developed the regional market for contracting out employment services is (the capacity and quality of public and private service providers).

As the evaluation results of the reintegration voucher did not show positive effects in general, it indicates that the capacity and quality may be issues not only for public service providers, but also for private ones.

To achieve better results, the activation conditionality on reintegration voucher recipients should be aligned better with these of the other unemployment benefit recipients and the package of services should be widened to accommodate other necessary services such as training for upskilling. The regional measures need to be aligned better with the national reintegration voucher to avoid duplication and confusion among the jobseekers. For example, regional measures could target those not on unemployment benefits and thus further from the labour market and in need of more in depth interventions than job placement and training. In this way, the national measure would target those jobseekers that are closer to the labour market providing them job placement services and training measures. The regional measures would target more difficult clients as the specific needs depend more on the local conditions, and offer them more diverse service package aiming to eliminate area-specific boundaries on job integration.

The fee structure encouraging performance is already in place in the case of the reintegration voucher and ANPAL collects data on performance results. In addition, the labour market integration rate of recipients of the reintegration voucher by Regions, provinces and public employment offices has been agreed within the Triennial Strategy. However, this indicator has not been published yet, nor does it provide performance results by private providers. As a first step, performance results could be published by groups of jobseeker profiling scores (indicating the distance from the labour market). Further on, this “rating system” could involve also data about jobseeker satisfaction with the services. For instance, jobseekers who register online (jobseekers declaring their availability to work, so-called DID) can use the same account to rate and comment the service providers online.

3.4. Employer outreach and demand-side services

Public employment services have to attend to the needs of both labour supply and demand to fulfil their tasks successfully. However, the demand side has been largely neglected by the Jobs Act as well as by the regional (and provincial) practices in place so far. A new national strategy for employers drafted by ANPAL attempts to serve the needs of employers better.

3.4.1. The Jobs Act fails to address the services for employers

The realisation that a successful system of employment services has to address both the labour supply and the demand side has gained more and more recognition across countries during the recent years. In spite of that, this approach is neither well rooted yet in Italy nor has been strengthened by the Jobs Act.

Active labour market policies have traditionally focused more on the labour supply side often neglecting the demand side entirely. Over the past two decades a shift in this paradigm has slowly taken place thanks to the understanding that a successful system of employment services has to attend to the needs of both the jobseekers as well as the employers. In the early 2000s this approach started emerging due to the prevalence of skill mismatches and skill shortages (Spoonley, 2008[35]). During the Great Recession, the realisation that employers are crucial partners for the public employment services took hold as the number of vacancies to be mediated to the jobseekers fell and the employment services which reached out to the employers to understand their needs better and to support them in job creation and recruitment, achieved better results in placing the jobseekers. Thus, many of the advanced public employment services such as the ones in Germany, Austria, Estonia or Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia) have in the recent past strengthened their services to employers or even changed their business models from jobseeker-led to employer-led [see for example HoPES (2013[36]), Koning and Gravesteijn (2012[37]) and Sowa et al. (2015[38])]. Outreach to employers is not only important to improve skill match on the labour market, but also to place disadvantaged jobseekers [see Bowman and Randrianarisoa (2018[39]), and OECD (2015[1])], a service that used to be considered solely a measure targeting the supply side.

However, in Italy this paradigm shift has not taken place, yet. The employment services’ outreach to employers is weak and thus the market share of vacancies remains extremely low. Only 1.5% of employers use mainly the system of public employment services for finding employees and only 2.5% of newly employed people had the public employment services in some way involved in finding their job (see Figure 1.17 in Chapter 1).

In addition, strengthening the labour demand-side policies has not been part of the Jobs Act. The implementing decree of the Jobs Act lists only supply-side measures as active labour market policies that the Regions have to provide (Decree No. 150 from 2015, Article 18, see Annex 1.C in Chapter 1). One of the tasks set for the new network of employment services is to introduce actions and services aiming to satisfy the skill needs of employers, but this objective is not given any further content. The only measures dealt with in the decree mentioning employers are the employment incentives for which this decree lays down the general principles and calls for creating a national repository, focusing on avoiding misuse of these measures by the employers. In this context, the employers are not viewed as crucial clients of the system of public employment services.

As the Jobs Act leaves demand-side services and outreach to employers without any adequate attention or regulation, it will be up to the network of employment services and even more particularly for ANPAL and the Regions to realise the importance of these services and strengthen them. In fact, most of the services by the public employment services should consider simultaneously the needs of jobseekers as well as those of employers.

3.4.2. Regional outreach to employers is modest

The generic matching and pre-selection services are the most commonly provided services in the Italian Regions and available in most of the local employment offices, yet the selection of additional services tends to be limited. Employers are dissatisfied with the local employment offices as the services do not match their needs well and tend to be of low quality. Dedicated employers’ counsellors are present in half of the Regions, but their tasks are not supported by appropriate tools and infrastructure, limiting active out-reach to employers. Company visits which (the most effective channel to communicate with employers) as well as online channels (the most efficient channel) are both underused in the Italian Regions.

The statistics in this subsection on the services offered to employers by the Regions and local employment offices is received via a questionnaire among the Regions by the OECD in May to June 2018 (if not stated otherwise).

Basic services to employers are offered in most Regions

In countries where the public employment services are in good contact with the employers, the core day-to-day services concern current and prospective vacancies (filling vacancies, providing benefits to encourage recruiting, enabling jobseekers and employers meet through job fairs, speed dating, etc.), training provision matching employers’ needs and support in case of lay-offs (Koning and Gravesteijn, 2012[37]). These can be considered as the services regarding the employers’ most imminent needs.

With regard to Italy, the most common services provided for employers are summarised in Table 3.2.17 The function of matching jobseekers to vacancies takes place in the system of public employment services in all the Regions and in most of the local offices with only some exceptions. In addition, most Regions also offer services for pre-selecting candidates (so only one or a small number of the most suitable jobseekers are selected).18

Table 3.2. Matching services and candidate pre-selection are available in most local employment offices
Services for employers by Regions and service points

Service Region

Matching vacancies and jobseekers

Pre-selection of candidates

Job fairs and alike

Training subsidies

Tailor-made training for company needs

Help with large-scale redundancies


All CPIs

All CPIs

Other bodies

Other bodies

Other bodies

Other bodies

Aosta Valley

All CPIs

All CPIs

All CPIs

Other bodies

Other bodies

Other bodies


All CPIs

All CPIs




Other bodies


All CPIs

All CPIs

All CPIs



All CPIs


All CPIs

All CPIs






All CPIs

Some CPIs

Some CPIs

Other bodies

Other bodies

Other bodies


All CPIs

All CPIs

Some CPIs

Other bodies

Other bodies

All CPIs


All CPIs, other bodies

All CPIs




All CPIs

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

All CPIs

All CPIs

All CPIs, other bodies

Other bodies

All CPIs, other bodies

All CPIs, other bodies


Some CPIs

All CPIs

All CPIs





All CPIs

Some CPIs

Some CPIs

Other bodies

Other bodies

Some CPIs


All CPIs, other bodies

All CPIs, other bodies

Some CPIs, other bodies

Some CPIs, other bodies

Other bodies

Some CPIs, other bodies


All CPIs

All CPIs

Some CPIs

Other bodies

Some CPIs

Other bodies


All CPIs

All CPIs






All CPIs, other bodies

All CPIs, other bodies

Some CPIs, other bodies



Some CPIs, other bodies


Some CPIs

All CPIs

Other bodies

Other bodies

Other bodies

Other bodies


All CPIs







All CPIs

All CPIs

Some CPIs

All CPIs

All CPIs

All CPIs


All CPIs

All CPIs

Some CPIs



All CPIs, other bodies


All CPIs

All CPIs

Some CPIs

Other bodies

Other bodies

All CPIs


Some CPIs

Some CPIs

Some CPIs


Other bodies

Other bodies

Note: All CPIs – all local employment offices are providing the service; some CPIs – the service is available in some local employment offices, but not in all of the offices in the Region; other bodies – the service is offered through some other regional entity/structure than the network of public employment offices.

Source: Responses to a questionnaire among the Italian Regions conducted by the OECD in May to June 2018.

Job fairs and similar events to facilitate the meetings between employers and jobseekers are organised by the system of public employment services in two-thirds of the Regions (14 Regions). For example, the Autonomous Province of Trento organises events for high-skilled workers and youth (see Box 3.8). Additionally, in Abruzzo and Sardinia, where these events are not organised by the public employment offices, other regional structures dedicated to servicing employers are in place to fill this gap. Other regional structures contribute to organising job fairs in addition to the local employment offices also in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardy and Piedmont.

Support for employers and their workers in case of larger-scale redundancies is provided in the vast majority of Regions (except in Bolzano, Lazio, Molise and Sicily). However, this service is provided fully or partially by the public local employment offices in ten Regions and in others by other regional structures for employers.

Other services, such as providing subsidies for conducting training or tailor-made training for specific company needs, etc., are relatively rare. Also, these services are provided rather by other structures than the system of public employment services, if at all.

Box 3.8. Initiatives to facilitate employers and jobseekers meet in Trento

Career Day – Targeted to specific sectors or skill groups. The local offices select a list of jobseeker profiles targeting specific skills and invite companies to meet these jobseekers. Before the meeting takes place, the counsellors in local offices prepare the jobseekers on how to introduce themselves to the employers (recruiters and HR managers) during the meeting. For seasonal sectors such as tourism, the event takes place before the season starts.

Focus Lavoro – Carried out together with youth organisations and employers targeting youth. These events allow companies introduce themselves to young people, e.g. through guided visits to their production plants. Companies can make themselves more known among the prospective employees (advertise themselves as employers), promote internships, talk about current and prospective vacancies.

Source: Wildmann, L. (2018[40]), I servizi per i datori di lavoro erogati dai Centri per l’impiego della Provincia Autonoma di Trento.

Service package for employers is limited and of low quality

In a survey conducted by ANPAL among employers mainly in the tertiary sector in November 2017, 70% of the respondents had used services of the local employment offices before. More than half of the ones that had not used these services did not believe that they would receive necessary support. Only 44% of all respondents considered contacting local employment offices in the future. Employers are reluctant to turn to employment offices mainly due to the low quality of the services received previously and because there are no services available that would meet their needs (accordingly 39% and 26% of the ones that would not contact employment services in the future).

The quality and spectrum of services tends to be limited indeed. While 97% of local offices perform at least some tasks related to employers, only 53% perform the eight main tasks identified by ANPAL19 (ANPAL, 2018[29]). Even these eight tasks do not cover all the needs of employers, either, as these relate only to administrative tasks, providing information on active measures on offer and matching and pre-selection tasks. The more elementary tasks such as providing information on active measures on offer and conducting general matching services are performed by most of the offices, while tasks requiring attending to more specific needs of the employers and supporting them in filling more demanding vacancies are less common.

Employers consider support with matching services as the main priority from the public employment services. Half of the respondents in the survey conducted by ANPAL considered the service for filling the vacancies to be most useful, while other services were considered somewhat less important. For example, 22% of employers considered tailor-made training useful, 22% appreciated support following recruitment, 14% services for self-employment, 15% support for hiring foreign citizens and 19% tax advice and incentives for recruitment.20

Overall, there is a lot of room for development for the system of employment services regarding the quality and spectrum of demand-side services to accommodate the employers’ needs and gain credibility among the labour market stakeholders.

The organisational structures for counsellors serving employers are in place, but the supporting structures are missing

International practices show that having counsellors dedicated to employers’ needs tends to be a more effective approach than having only general counsellors who serve mainly jobseekers and only occasionally employers. In half of the Italian Regions, there are counsellors dedicated to serving employers. However, these counsellors are not supported by appropriate tools and infrastructure, thus failing to actively reach out to employers. It should be the task for ANPAL to develop the online tools for vacancy intake and for matching jobseekers to vacancies, so that the employers’ counsellors could dedicate their resources to proactively contacting employers and promoting their services.

The majority of public employment services in Europe use counsellors dedicated exclusively for employers to be able to provide the tailored support that employers need. In fact, the use of dedicated counsellors has been a growing trend over the years (Peters, 2016[41]). The increasing popularity of this approach stems from the indication that the more personal contacts with employers improve co-operation between employers and public employment services and thus make the demand-side services more effective. Nevertheless, even though the tasks of serving employers and jobseekers are separated in this approach, the co-operation of these two types of counsellors is crucial to facilitate the labour demand and supply to meet. For that, different models are used. In some cases, the counsellors for employers and the counsellors for jobseekers work in small teams (e.g. the Flemish public employment service in Belgium) specialised on a specific geographic area or a business sector (Oberholzner, 2018[42]). In other cases the co-operation between the counsellors (or teams of counsellors) for employers and the counsellors (or teams of counsellors) for jobseekers are facilitated by frequent regular meetings (e.g. public employment services in Austria and Estonia) or meetings taking place in a needs-based format (e.g. public employment services in Germany and Slovenia). The key factor for a successful model is that employers’ counsellors undertake tasks beyond passive registration and filling of vacancies, to actively create and sustain contacts with employers for new job offers, targeted placement of disadvantaged jobseekers and facilitate meetings between employers and jobseekers.

In Italy, there is a plethora of models that have emerged over the years regarding the services for employers, which differ across the Regions. Half of the Regions have dedicated counsellors for employers in the local offices (Apulia, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Marche, Molise, Sardinia, Trento, Tuscany, and Umbria). In some of these cases the counsellors for employers work in teams with other employers’ counsellors, sometimes with counsellors for jobseekers and sometimes without a specific team. Seven Regions (Abruzzo, Aosta Valley, Basilicata, Bolzano, Calabria, Piedmont and Sicily) have no counsellors dedicated specifically for employers, but some counsellors deal simultaneously with employers and jobseekers. In the Lombardy region, there are dedicated employers’ counsellors in some public employment offices (with high variation how teams are set up), but not in others. Similarly, in Veneto and Lazio only some local offices have staff members that deal with employers, whereas in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region the services to employers are provided mainly by dedicated units not situated in the local employment offices.

Even in the Regions where there are dedicated employers’ counsellors, there are several factors which might hinder their effectiveness. The lack of specialised skills, the limited available time (number of counsellors) as well as the absence of supportive structures limit their role.

The tasks that the staff in charge of services for employers have to perform are generally not well supported by the IT tools. This means for instance that the staff members in charge of matching and pre-selection search manually in the databases for those candidates whose characteristics and competencies match the criteria set for the vacancy. In addition to the inexistence of automated matching tools, the list of characteristics and competencies of the jobseekers in these databases is very limited and often it is not known whether the person is actually still interested in accepting a job since the activation conditionality is not applied and up-to-date information about the jobseekers is often missing. For that reason, the local offices generally try to contact the otherwise suitable candidates to understand if the person is at all interested in the available job before making a referral to the employer. Moreover, some local offices conduct additional interviews with the suitable candidates to assess the competencies that are not listed in the database, but are required by the employer (for example soft skills). In total, the lack of appropriate tools makes the service provision unnecessarily cumbersome and resource-intensive and is currently manageable only because of extremely low vacancy inflow which of course is a problem of its own and partly also a consequence of exactly the low quality of matching service.

Very common reasons why employers contact the public employment services are administrative and bureaucratic in nature, not necessarily related to the core demand-side services. In a survey conducted by ANPAL among employers in 2017,21 42% of the respondents who had contacted public employment services previously, had contacted local offices in administrative matters,22 38% to receive information about employment services23 and 50% in relation to filling vacancies or to get support in identifying business needs. As a result, a great part of work of the system of public employment services is devoted to administrative activities in relation to both jobseekers and employers leaving only marginal resources for the core activity of matching demand and supply. This decreases the offices’ credibility as a job broker.

Therefore, it is crucial to develop tools which facilitate the communication with employers (online tool for inserting vacancies to be mediated by the system of employment services) and which improve the efficiency and the quality of the services provided to employers (matching tools allowing automated matching and enabling more elaborate matching criteria). The development of these tools would be more efficient if these were developed at the national rather than the regional level. National tools would serve the interest of both jobseekers and employers better, allowing for matching across the provincial and regional borders24 and would also promote convergence of service quality across Italy. Thus, it should be the task for ANPAL to provide this support structure for the Regions.

Once the support structure for the employers’ counsellors is in place, the system of public employment services has the potential to provide quality services for employers and increase its credibility as a job broker. In half of the Regions the dedicated employers’ counsellors are already present in the local offices and in several others it is the case in some of the offices. This provides a good launch pad for the local offices to start actively reaching out to employers.

More interactive channels should be used to increase contacts with employers

Experience with channels used to communicate with employers across countries indicate that company visits is the most effective channel (Koning and Gravesteijn, 2012[37]), while online channels often are the most efficient (particularly for automatable services). In line with this evidence, face-to face communication is one of the communication channels that most public employment services use for their services for employers, even though other channels such as online channels and telephone (placement officers and call centres) have gained more importance over the years.

Both the face-to-face and online channels are underused in the Italian Regions. Visits to employers are only used by local employment offices in 14 Regions, while the online channels (internet portals) are even less common as there is no national tool in place. Thus, only 12 Regions have been able to provide a regional online channel for employers (Aosta Valley, Basilicata, Bolzano, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Lombardy Sardinia, Trento, Tuscany, Umbria and Veneto). Five Regions have taken up the use of social media to provide an additional channel for communicating with employers (Apulia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Marche and Veneto), thus in some of the cases providing a substitute for the more traditional online tools.

Other relatively common channels internationally are e-mails and regular mail, the latter losing popularity very fast in many countries [see for example IDB/WAPES/OECD (2015[43])]. In Italy, e-mail contact is by far the most common channel that public employment offices use to communicate with the employers (for example for vacancy intake or for sending newsletters about employment services). This channel is used practically in all the Regions with the exception of the Molise region. Information exchange on the phone is also a popular communication tool. For example, the Tuscany region has dedicated a free-of-charge phone number providing information regarding employment services for employers.

Overall, the channels for reaching out to employers and communicating with them are not very well developed and are rather passive, meaning that these are used when an employer contacts a local office. The tasks of the employers’ counsellors should be supported by well-functioning IT tools, so that they could allocate their time for using the more active channels to reach out to new employers (see also the previous subsection).

Given the multiple and different needs employers have, it is useful to combine different outreach strategies and tools. Face-to-face contact could be used to initially create a trustful relationship with a new employer and subsequently some other channel can be used for specific services (such as online channel for uploading vacancies). Face-to-face contact might be needed also when providing more complex and employer-specific services (Dietz, Bähr and Osiander, 2014[44]). Such more interactive channel might be necessary for example when providing training considering specific needs of employers, which needs mapping the needs and designing the course also involving a training provider (e.g. conducted in the Slovenian public employment service); or advising employers on training needs of their staff in general (e.g. German and Austrian public employment services). A face-to-face channel might be effective also when placing particularly disadvantaged jobseekers to jobs, in which case the employers’ counsellor and/or the case worker can assist the meeting between the employer and the jobseeker.

Digital channels can be more efficient than other channels for many services, which explains the trend of an increased use of these channels in recent years. Also, even if an online tool is chosen as the main channel for some specific service, it might need also an additional online and telephone support to back it up (Tubb, Roberts and Metcalfe, 2014[45]). For example, if an online tool for uploading vacancies is set up, employers should have possibilities to contact public employment services and get prompt technical assistance in case difficulties are encountered such as problems with understanding the fields to be filled in, errors in functionalities, etc. Providing support through online helpdesks (e.g. chats) and/or call centres is a common feature of public employment services using online channels for service provision.

3.4.3. A new national strategy for employers

ANPAL has drafted a new strategy for employers in 2018 aiming to strengthen demand-side services. By and large, the strategy maps the gaps in the system of public employment services regarding serving employers well. Nevertheless, ANPAL could take more responsibility to help the local offices to close these gaps in all the three functions assigned to the local offices – in providing labour market information, in matching labour supply and demand and in linking the employment services with the life-long learning system.25

The new national strategy for employers is well developed

To strengthen the demand-side services across the Regions, ANPAL proposed a national strategy of public employment services for employers in 2018 (not adopted yet as of autumn 2018, hence the draft proposal is discussed as following). The strategy aims at closing the gaps between the expectations of the employers and the current situation of service provision by the local employment offices. Moreover, it tries to create a common vision of employment services across the local offices and to encourage all Regions and local offices to work in the same direction. More specifically, it defines three main functions for the local employment offices in their engagement with the employers: i) providing information on employment services, ii) matching labour supply and demand and pre-selecting suitable candidates, and iii) linking the employment services with the life-long learning system. To improve these functions, the strategy calls for further training of employers’ counsellors in local employment offices, further development of demand-side services to respond to employers’ needs and investments in IT tools. ANPAL’s role is to help strengthen the system of employment services, enhance the methodological and digital support, contribute to improve the skills of staff in the local offices and disseminate timely information to companies using its own tools as well as ESF resources.

The development of the strategy involved many of the Regions as well as the employers through a survey mapping their needs and their current relationship with public employment services, in line with good practices from other countries [see Oberholzner and Hughes (2018[46])]. It identifies three clear functions that can be easily communicated to all stakeholders and it recognises the different needs for support that companies have according to their size. The next step should be to make it more specific about its objectives as well as which key actions to conduct to achieve the objectives, how and by whom.

The role of ANPAL could be strengthened

Within the draft strategy to employers, ANPAL should take an even more active role as a supporter of employer outreach going beyond what is already set in the legal decrees. ANPAL’s commitment to building partnerships with large companies and trade associations is welcome as it will likely increase the visibility of the system of employment services and hopefully contribute to building trustful relationships with smaller companies. Yet, ANPAL could take also a bigger role in developing digital tools to support the local offices, such as national tools for uploading vacancies and matching these with jobseekers (see details in next subsections).

In addition, ANPAL can play a role in supporting the upskilling of counsellors in local offices entrusted to engage with employers. More specifically, ANPAL should provide them with specialised and continuous training to build their sales and marketing skills, labour law knowledge, negotiation skills, interviewing skills, skills to analyse job vacancies, etc. This training does not have to use traditional training methods in the local offices. For example, Slovenian public employment service provides its employers’ counsellors training via e-learning courses, coaching and workshops. E-learning courses are more flexible and easier to fit in the counsellors’ working schedules than traditional classroom training. Workshops, on the other hand, enable counsellors to exchange their experience, learn from each other and develop new approaches. Coaching is useful to support putting theoretical knowledge gained in a workshop or e-learning course into practice, supporting the counsellor’s individual challenges at the workplace. The Slovenian public employment service has an internal unit (Education Centre) to map the training needs and prepare and organise relevant courses. The training courses for employers’ counsellors have involved using external experts, including experts from private employment agencies. In Italy, ANPAL Servizi could play the role of co-ordinating such training provision, by mapping training needs, preparing e-learning courses (e.g. on labour law) and finding external trainers for more specific topics (e.g. sales and marketing, negotiating).

The needs to improve IT infrastructure and invest in employers’ counsellors skills are stated now only generally in the draft strategy and rather as responsibilities for the Regions and local offices themselves. Yet, ANPAL has also an important role to play here. A national strategy for employers in a decentralised system (as is the Italian case) could outline priorities for local employment offices and supportive tasks for the authorities at the national level. Setting broad priorities for the local offices creates a common vision across the country about the main elements to meet employers’ needs, while leaving a lot of flexibility for the local level to set their actions fitting into the specific local situation. Denmark offers a good example of such organisation (see Box 3.9). The national level organisation in Denmark sets itself a clear mission to support local jobcentres to improve their employer services by providing them with relevant models and methods, competence funds and IT tools for matching jobseekers to vacancies. Also, the national level commits to sharing best practices, organising network meetings, measuring customer satisfaction and monitoring. The clarity of responsibilities and strong support from the national level while keeping flexibility to meet the local needs are elements that the Italian system could strengthen in its strategy for employers as well.

As soon as the Employer Strategy has been agreed with the Regions, it is important to communicate it across the different levels of the system of employment services (Regions, local offices, staff in the local offices). In this function, ANPAL through its sister Agency, ANPAL Servizi, will have to raise awareness of the objectives of the strategy and the steps ahead and create support for the strategy among the staff in local offices.

Box 3.9. National strategy for employers in Denmark

In Denmark, the 94 local jobcentres in the 98 municipalities are responsible for organising the employer services. The national level (the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment together with the Danish Ministry of Employment) is responsible for the national strategy for employers.

The current strategy sets four focus tracks for the local jobcentres:

Employer contact – The jobcentres need to have broad outreach-based contact with businesses that covers both the businesses’ strategic and the operational needs.

Contact with jobseekers – Jobseekers need information about the local labour market to match or upskill their competences with the needs of businesses.

Internal collaboration – The jobcentres’ internal collaboration chain is crucial for making good matches between jobseekers and businesses. Employees consulting jobseekers have to also have businesses in mind and employees consulting businesses have to know the competences of the jobseekers.

Co-operation between municipalities – In order to provide a good service, jobcentres should have good transversal collaboration with other jobcentres, training providers, unemployment insurance funds, businesses, and professional and sector-based networks.

The task for the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment at a national level is to help jobcentres improve their employer service through: 1) models and methods for employer service, 2) best practise sharing, 3) network meetings, 4) competence funds, 5) IT tools for digital matching, 6) customer satisfaction measurement and monitoring.

To fill this supportive role, the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment has published for example a methodology manual for local jobcentres on how to develop good employer services. It encourages local level to draw up their own strategies towards employers, providing them with recommendations on what aspects to consider and lists of tools and methods that could be useful. The manual presents also good practices from different parts of Denmark, such as a practice from Fredrikshavn where the jobcentre is determined to focus on employers new to the jobcentre and for which there is for instance a contact script prepared which the employers’ counsellors can easily base their introductory conversation on.

The national agency conducts a yearly survey on how the 94 jobcentres organise their employer services for monitoring reasons, but also to receive input for good practices to share across country.

Source: Johansen, L. (2018[47]), Engaging with employers. An introduction to Danish employer service; Kühnell Gautier, K., A. Møbjerg Stevnhoved and L. Hansen (2017[48]), Business Service – Inspiration for Jobcentre Managers. Methodology Manual,

Moreover, other strategic documents, such as the Triennial Strategy for the Action on Active Policies (particularly the minimum service standards and monitoring indicators), should be adjusted to accommodate the strategy for demand-side services. A regular customer satisfaction survey should be designed to support the monitoring of the strategy implementation as well as to enable updating the strategy according to the employers’ needs.26 The practice of the German public employment service could be used as a template to design an effective survey of employer satisfaction. In Germany, a phone survey is conducted by an external provider of customer surveys involving 100 employers on a random basis for each employment office. To get good information on the quality and impact of the counselling services, the survey is conducted two weeks after the first consultation and again in six months after the consultation. The results of the employer satisfaction survey feed into a customer satisfaction index (together with jobseeker satisfaction, youth satisfaction and the satisfaction of people in the rehabilitation programme), which is one of the key performance indicators to monitor the results of employment offices. Thus, the reliability of the results is of utmost importance, which is why the survey is outsourced and the survey method (including semantics, order of questions, etc.) is thoroughly analysed beforehand. Besides being a tool for monitoring performance, the satisfaction survey enables the employment service to identify needs for adjustment in the procedures, gives insight whether the matching services meet employers’ expectations and whether suitable applicants are proposed and the vacancies filled as well as the reasons for not meeting employers’ needs.

Public employment services as information providers

The first function of the local employment offices identified in the draft strategy is providing information to the employers. This concerns information on the services available in the employment offices or in other relevant structures in the Region and information related to administrative processes the employers have to adhere to. Thus, the strategy proposes more passive channels such as providing information on webpages, webinars available online and newsletter via e-mails, rather than active outreach to contact employers, who do not use the services of the local offices, yet. The strategy underlines that the digital services and tools to provide information to the employers are currently not adequate and calls for investments in these as well as in the training of staff dedicated for employers. Additionally, it suggests dedicated desks for employers to be set up in the Regions for which ANPAL takes a responsibility to develop a more specific proposal together with ANPAL Servizi.

Nonetheless, it is necessary that the public employment services take a more active role in providing information and marketing their services. It means more networking and building relationships with employers by visiting them, organising meetings and round-tables (also to receive their input for designing services), etc. At the same time, as already discussed in the previous subsection, ANPAL should take a more active role in the development of this function – for example by helping training the staff in the local employment offices dealing with employers, providing information to employers at the national level and by designing national online tools to support the staff in local offices.

Furthermore, a public employment service can only assist and advise its customers well when it has a good overview of the labour market situation. The counsellors in the local offices should have good labour market information to help their customers the best and to support their customers to make better decisions as well. In the strategy for employers, ANPAL takes a responsibility to carry out sector analyses to identify skill needs and future skills gaps. ANPAL should think how to disseminate and communicate this information the best (as well as other relevant information, e.g. concerning the plethora of different skill assessment anticipation exercises conducted by other organisations [see for example OECD (2017[49])] to the staff serving customers in a comprehensible format.

There are various methods used by public employment services in OECD countries to collect data on needs for skills and occupations. Some public employment services in Europe (e.g. Sweden or Austria)27 conduct regular surveys among employers to study outlook on labour demand (which hiring trends employers see and which qualifications/skills these concern) which is an input for the counsellors within the organisation as well as useful for external partners (educational institutions, career counsellors, employers, employees, jobseekers, policy makers, etc.).

Another approach is to use the knowledge that accumulates naturally within the public employment services themselves by being in contact with both jobseekers and employers, a method used for example in Sweden,28 Finland,29 Estonia30 and Poland31 (the latter being a system where the responsibilities are on regional level for employment services similarly to Italy). The methodology of this so-called occupational barometer involves gathering input from employers’ and jobseekers’ counsellors for surpluses, balances and shortages of labour by occupation both at present and in the near future (e.g. six months) at the regional/local level. This approach uses relatively low amounts of resources, but provides valuable information, particularly for understanding the regional labour market situation and the situation of neighbouring regions. This information is used to counsel jobseekers (to encourage occupational and geographical mobility, to refer jobseekers to training) and to advise employers (in which regions to look for labour for specific occupations). Furthermore, the occupational barometers are published online to inform educational institutions, youth making their career choices, career counsellors, policy makers, etc. In case this would be conducted in Italy, ANPAL should take the co-ordinating role to harmonise the methodology and ensure the comparability of estimations between the Regions. This input could also serve for geographical and occupational mobility.

Public employment services as job brokers (matching and pre-selection)

The second main function of local offices defined in the draft strategy is providing recruitment services. The strategy underlines the necessity to improve the quality of this service, to modernise its approaches, to enhance the ability to mediate high-skilled specialists and to introduce practices that enable taking into account the soft skills of the jobseekers when matching them with vacancies. It highlights rightfully that SMEs need often even more support from the local offices in defining their recruitment needs [see for example Oberholzner and Hughes (2018[46])].

Yet the strategy fails to point out that there is currently no online tool to facilitate an efficient uploading of vacancies for the employers, no adequate tool to support matching jobseekers to vacancies and no possibilities to match jobseekers to vacancies across the Regions to facilitate regional mobility.

Online tools that make vacancy registration more efficient are gaining popularity in the public employment services internationally, being the most important channel in Europe and Asia-Pacific (IDB/WAPES/OECD, 2015[43]) and in most of the OECD countries (OECD, 2015[1]). The national tools for vacancy registration are developed and successfully applied even in countries which otherwise have a decentralised provision of employment services such as Denmark and Canada (see Box 3.10). Furthermore, many public employment services make these databases open to the public (not only for using within the local offices), in which case also the jobseekers who are not registered can apply to vacancies and upload their CVs and employers can search for suitable candidates (OECD, 2015[1]). This extends the benefits of these databases for society. Many such online tools are also publishing job openings from other job mediation websites to further facilitate job search. For instance, the online tool of the French public employment service publishes vacancies of 110 partner online sites in addition to its own. The key is that the data about a vacancy has to be inserted in a structured way (e.g. classifications for occupations and skills as easily understandable for the labour market agents as possible), concerning all the characteristics that facilitate the subsequent matching process. Second, the tool should have built-in controls that help to avoid mistakes in insertion (e.g. wage below minimum wage in countries where minimum wage is set) and discrimination (e.g. discrimination by age or gender). Usually, a staff member in the local, regional or national level of the public employment service approves the vacancy before uploading it (e.g. in Canada, Slovenia, Estonia, etc.) and contacts the employer in case of errors. The quality approval process takes only a very little level of resources in the public employment service and the process in total is more efficient (faster and less administrative burden) than getting the input about vacancies through other channels and then inserting it in the database.

Box 3.10. National online platform for vacancy mediation in Canada – The Job Bank

Canada’s Job Bank online platform ( is an employment service that helps employers find suitable workers and workers find jobs. Though the responsibilities for employment services in Canada lie generally on the provincial/territorial level, the Job Bank has exceptionally a federal government mandate, i.e. it is a national tool. It is delivered in collaboration between the federal and provincial/territorial governments.

The Job Bank consists of five interconnected tools and services:

  1. 1. Job Search (including a mobile app) – A service for jobseekers to look for job vacancies applying general filters such as area, job title, type of contract, etc.

  2. 2. Job Alerts (including a mobile app) – Allows jobseekers to receive notifications of new job postings by email up to twice a day (filtered by area and job title).

  3. 3. Job Match for Jobseekers – Allows jobseekers to create a profile (including skill profile and a well-organised résumé) and to be matched to suitable current job openings. It also increases a jobseeker’s visibility to employers as they can see his/her profile and invite to apply to their jobs.

  4. 4. Explore Careers and Trends – Disseminates labour market information gathering input from 30 different sources and generating more than 32 000 unique reports by occupation and location covering job opportunities and outlook, wages, skill and job requirements in a targeted and comprehensive format (OECD, 2015[50]).

  5. 5. Job Bank for Employers provides a free online posting platform:

    • The Job Bank for Employers allows Canadian employers to post their job openings (after internal validation that these are legitimate and real) in a standardised format. In May 2018, there were 110 000 active employer accounts using the platform and posting 34 506 vacancies.

    • After posting a vacancy, employers receive a list of suitable jobseeker profiles, which they can invite to apply to their vacancy.

    • When using the tool, employers are invited to signal new skills, knowledge and job types that they want to use in job adverts, which provides input for the development of the tool as well as for research on changing skill needs and nature of work.

    • If employers cannot fill the vacancy in 30 days, local governments provide them with additional support such as advice on local employment measures and services (pilot project in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador).

    • Employers can market their vacancy to a specific disadvantaged group of jobseekers (newcomers, indigenous, students, seniors, etc.).

    • As the service is free for employers, it helps particularly SMEs, which tend to have more constrained resources for recruitment procedures. 42% of vacancies in the Job Bank are from firms with up to 4 employees, 52% from firms with 5 to 99 employees, 4% from firms with 100 to 499 employees and 2% from firms with 500 and more employees.

Source: Roberts, G. (2018[51]), The Changing Nature of Work: Recent Canadian Initiatives to Improve Services for Employers; OECD (2015[50]), Back to Work: Canada: Improving the Re-employment Prospects of Displaced Workers,; and Government of Canada (2018[52]), The Job Bank,

The vacancy registration tool and database have to be complemented by a tool to match these vacancies to the jobseekers in the databases of public employment services. The current manual methods conducted by the staff in the local offices (see Subsection 3.4.2) are very labour intensive and do not provide necessarily a result of high quality. IT-based matching tools can have a functionality to match jobseekers to vacancies when initiated by the employers’ counsellor (e.g. to further select from the suitable candidates, conduct additional tests, etc.), by the counsellor for jobseekers (when counselling the jobseeker and referring him or her to apply to some specific vacancies) as well as by the employers and jobseekers themselves in the public online environment. In addition, such tool could perform automatic matching, for example by automatically matching all vacancies and jobseekers every working day and sending new matches to the jobseekers by e-mail (like in Estonia) or via SMS (like in Lithuania). In case of more elaborate matching tools like the one in the public employment service of Belgium-Flanders, the matching tool enables to see also less than perfect matches indicating the divergence. This is particularly important when the skills of jobseekers do not correspond well to existing vacancies in the economy, revealing missing skills and thus necessary training programmes. Additionally, an employer might be willing to employ a person with slightly lower match than initially expecting, training the employee at the workplace or adapting the tasks. If these digital tools for registering and matching vacancies are in place, the staff in local offices who are currently manually dealing with vacancies, could devote their resources to actively communicate with the employers, promote the demand-side services, stimulate vacancy inflow for job mediation, solicit employers to hire disadvantaged jobseekers, etc.

A successful application of a digital matching tool requires improvements also in the jobseeker registration tool and databases to provide accurate, sufficiently elaborate as well as comparable data across the Regions as inputs for matching function. As already discussed in Subsection 3.2.4, it would be beneficial to develop a skill profiling tool that feeds into matching processes as well as into mapping training needs, ideally aiming to go beyond qualifications and cover also generic, technical and non-cognitive i.e. soft skills. It is crucial that the skills covered by this tool use the same classification as the vacancy registration tool for employers and that this classification is easily usable and understandable for jobseekers as well as employers providing examples and additional definitions when necessary. Developing a tool to profile the skills of jobseekers well would induce better matches and also be a form of outreach to employers, as it would increase the benefits of co-operating with the public employment system and hence would enhance the credibility of the public employment services as a job broker. For example, the satisfaction survey among employers conducted by the Tuscany region indicated that the too general profiles of jobseekers matched to vacancies is the main reason for the employers’ dissatisfaction with the services provided by the local employment offices.

It is crucial to develop these tools nation-wide to use the scarce resources in the system of employment services in Italy efficiently and to assure high quality services for employers and jobseekers across the country. The development of these tools at the national level would also enable matching jobseekers and vacancies across the Regions and provinces, encouraging geographical mobility of jobseekers and enterprises and contributing to a better skill match. Thus it is critical that setting up such national tools would be part of the strategy for employers and that ANPAL would take the responsibility to develop these.

Public employment services as supporters of up-skilling

As local employment offices have an overview of the skill needs and supply, the draft national strategy expects them to play a fundamental role in providing support and advice in the design of training programmes. Employment offices are expected to promote training programs at workplaces for employed people, help and encourage employers to contribute to designing training courses for their employees and help to define the role of organisations offering training programs. These training programs should serve the purpose of unemployment prevention by skilling the employees up to match the changing economic structure and needs due to technological change, digitalisation and globalisation.

The training programs for employed people are financed by dedicated funds in Italy (the Inter-Professional Funds),32 which gather their funds through a levy on employers. They are run by social partners and are supervised by ANPAL. ANPAL establishes guidelines defining the role and responsibilities of the Inter-Professional Funds and monitors that the funds’ activities would meet the set requirements. These funds have contributed significantly to lifelong learning in Italy over the past 15 years. Nevertheless, they could aim even more at aligning the training offered with labour market needs (e.g. ICT-related skills, clerical knowledge) and at covering SMEs and disadvantaged groups of workers (older people, women, lower-skilled and low-wage workers), (OECD, 2019[53]). Hence, the promotion by the public employment service to reach disadvantaged groups and to design training programmes matching the labour market needs could improve the operation of Inter-Professional Funds.

This role of counsellors would be facilitated by strengthening the information sharing and job broker functions of employment services discussed in the previous subsections. Improving the support structures for job brokering would enable the local offices to have resources for counselling employers and direct them to upskill their employees. Improvements in disseminating knowledge by ANPAL to the local offices and possibly co-ordinating skill assessments in the Regions (e.g. the “occupational barometer) would improve the abilities of the employers’ counsellors to advise employers.

In addition to promoting and advising employers on skilling up their existing staff, public employment service should provide training also for unemployed persons in case of skill shortages. Currently, training programs by the Italian system of employment services for adults over 30 years of age are very scarce. The few existing programs are not well linked with employers’ needs, the customer satisfaction is relatively low and there is no information available about their effectiveness (see Chapter 1).

The new strategy for employers does not address the issue of up-skilling for unemployed persons with the view to meet employers’ needs. ANPAL should take the responsibility to evaluate training programmes (involving external partners if necessary) and to disseminate the knowledge on the effectiveness and efficiency of the programs as well as on the studies of employers’ needs. The Regions and local offices should be encouraged to devote resources to decrease skill mismatch between jobseekers and vacancies, including offering tailor-made training if needed. For instance, the Slovenian public employment service addressed the skill mismatch by elaborating a tendering scheme for tailor-made training programmes. Several new programmes were designed and implemented (e.g. for butchers and choppers) based on monitoring skill needs and in co-operation with employers and training providers (Pirher, 2016[54]).

3.5. Conclusions

As the system of public employment services is decentralised in Italy, very different methods and approaches are practised throughout the service provision. This concerns targeting active measures to jobseekers, co-operating with the private providers and reaching out to employers and has led to unequal access to services and diverse service quality.

ANPAL has proposed national methods to homogenise and improve employment services across the country. There are now quantitative jobseeker profiling tools in place that are used to administer national measures and could potentially be used for regional measures as well. ANPAL has proposed a qualitative jobseeker profiling tool that in general helps to target active policies by understanding the individual needs of jobseekers and by applying activation conditionality. In addition, a test of the PIAAC online tool has been conducted to start profiling skills in order to better target training measures for jobseekers. A national register of accredited private service providers has been created and a national job placement service (reintegration voucher) has been tested with the aim to enhance the quasi-market for employment services and to use private service providers in order to overcome the limitations in the public system. A national strategy for employers has been drafted aiming at strengthening demand-side services by mapping the gaps between what the employers need and what the employment offices are delivering, and how to overcome these gaps. ANPAL has succeeded to develop these methods and approaches in its first years of activity, involving the Regions and at times other parties in the process.

Nevertheless, all of these fields of service provision have to be further developed and the limitations should be addressed. Above all, ANPAL should advance its strategic views such as on how the quasi-market should be applied across Italy, and take a more assertive role in supporting the Regions when implementing the strategies and methods. For this support, ANPAL should develop the relevant IT tools (online tools for uploading vacancies, tools for matching jobseekers to vacancies, tools to profile skills that feed into matching, tools to support qualitative profiling, tools to gather data necessary to advance quantitative profiling, etc.) and provide knowledge and training on the strategies and approaches themselves as well as on the use of the tools that put these approaches into practice.


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← 1. Results via a questionnaire among the Regions by the OECD in May to June 2018.

← 2.

← 3. There are also some additional requirements stemming from the law that a personal service pact has to include such as information about the designated case worker, the statement about the employability profile, etc.

← 4. Potentially concluding whether the jobseeker needs further training to be integrated to the labour market and which career choices might be fitting the most.

← 5. This is the French national classification of occupations – Répertoire Opérationnel des Métiers et des Emplois.

← 6.

← 7. The service provider receives for job placement activities EUR 3 000 for permanent employment contract, EUR 2 000 for fixed-term contract of at least 12 months and EUR 1 000 for a contract of at least nine months,

← 8. Results via a questionnaire among the Regions by the OECD in May to June 2018.

← 9. The Regions have developed diverse accreditation systems for employment service providers. Generally, the service providers have to meet the following requirements:

– Legal and financial requirements (corporate purpose, audited financial statements, share capital, separate accounting system, employment contract application, absence of convictions of managers, absence of overdue taxes and fees, etc.);

– Structural requirements (registered office, availability of operational offices located in several provinces, facilities complying with safety regulations, weekly opening hours, rooms distinct from those of other parties, etc.);

– Professional requirements (characteristics and presence of professional staff members such as the Head of Unit, Reception Officer, Tutor, etc.).

← 10.

← 11. Service providers such as public and private universities, vocational education providers, municipalities, chambers of commerce, employers’ associations and trade unions do not have to be listed in the register in order to provide employment services.

← 12. Also for example, the Ministerial Decree 3/2018 sets new common principles for accrediting service providers that the Regions should start taking into account.

← 13. This measure was first developed and taken into use by Lombardy Region, later developed further by the ANPAL Servizi predecessor Italia Lavoro, before it was included in the Jobs Act and implemented by ANPAL.

← 14. When a person registers as a jobseeker first with a local employment office, a personal service pact (an individual action plan) should be drawn up and agreed with the jobseeker. If the jobseeker then applies for a reintegration voucher, another personal service pact (individual action plan) should be drawn up by the chosen service provider abolishing the former service pact.

← 15. In case of permanent employment contract, the fees for service providers were set between EUR 1 000 and EUR 5 000 depending on the employability profile, which meant that the majority of the cases the voucher has a value around EUR 3 000 to EUR 4 000. In addition, the measure foresees fees for services also in cases of no success in job integration, but only if the performance of the service provider reaches at least a certain minimum level. The minimum thresholds for the fees for services depend on the local labour market situation (in general in between 20% to 40% of cases are expected to achieve an employment contract for at least 6 months within 6 months of service provision).

← 16. Some observations from both the treatment and the comparison groups were excluded from the analysis, e.g. when data was missing for their employment history.

← 17. The statistics of services offered to employers by the Regions in this subsection is received via a questionnaire among the Regions by the OECD in May to June 2018 (if not stated otherwise).

← 18. These results are similar to the ones received by ANPAL in 2017 in the survey among the local offices (ANPAL, 2018[29]), in which 8.8% of local offices said they do not provide matching and pre-selection services and 21.0% said they do not carry out interviews for pre-selection of candidates.

← 19.  1) Reception and assistance of companies in the search of information; 2) Execution of administrative practices; 3) Providing information on the services offered; 4) Identification of the needs of the company; 5) Supporting the drafting of a recruitment request; 6) Identification of suitable candidates (pre-selection); 7) Management of preselection / selection interviews; 8) Support in recruitment of specialists that are more difficult to find.

← 20. Survey conducted in November 2017 among employers (in total 246 respondents, mostly SMEs in the tertiary sector out of whom 70% had previously used services from the local employment offices).

← 21. Survey conducted in November 2017 among employers (in total 246 respondents, mostly SMEs in the tertiary sector out of whom 70% had previously used services from the local employment offices).

← 22. To get support in administrative procedures or to comply with the legal obligation to hire people with disabilities.

← 23. To receive information on the services offered or to receive help or information on specific active measures (internships, employment incentives, the Youth Guarantee).

← 24. For example, some location in a neighbouring region might be easier for a jobseeker to get to than some locations where he or she lives; some jobseekers might be willing to change the location where they live to be able to do the work that matches their skills well.

← 25. The draft employers’ strategy as of July 2018 is analysed in this chapter. The final strategy agreed by the Committee of Active Labour Market Policies in December 2018 (ANPAL, 2018[55]) was improved in many aspects – the responsibilities for ANPAL were strengthened (including with regard to developing matching functions in the integrated IT system and providing CPIs with tools to create awareness of local labour market situation), the responsibilities for the Regions were clearly emphasised, the monitoring framework was added and the need to communicate the employers’ strategy was highlighted.

← 26. The final strategy adopted in December 2018 lays out also a monitoring framework including an indicator for employers’ satisfaction with employment services.

← 27.

← 28.

← 29.

← 30.

← 31.

← 32. There are in total 19 Inter-Professional funds as of 2018. Enterprises pay 0.3% tax on their payroll in these funds, which is used then to provide lifelong learning for employed people.

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