In Italy, according to the data presented by the agency We are social in the annual report “Digital 2023 – i dati italiani”, there are almost 50,78 million users who surf the internet (about 86% of the total population) every day and 43,9 million who are active on social channels (about 75% of the total population).
In particular, Internet use by young people is particularly high: data from the latest OECD report “Digital Economy Outlook 2020” show that the age of first internet access has decreased in almost all OECD countries in recent years. However, as for students, the data of the 2018 OECD PISA report (OECD member countries and Associates decided to postpone the PISA 2021 assessment to 2022 and the PISA 2024 assessment to 2025 to reflect post-Covid difficulties) show that the increase in internet users does not correspond to a significant growth in digital skills. This situation is also reflected in the annual report of ISTAT “Citizens and ICT 2019” (Cittadini e ICT 2019), in which a situation of overall lack of preparation of girls and boysto move consciously in the world pervaded by technologies.
The National Digital School Plan (Piano Nazionale Scuola Digitale - Law 107/2015) is the guideline document of the Ministry of Education and Merit for the launch of an overall strategy of innovation of the Italian school and for a new positioning of its educational system in the digital age (Cf. 6).
The Department for Youth Policy and the Universal Civil Service (DPGSCU) provides that young people who wish to submit the application form to the Universal Civil Service must have a digital identity. Participation in DPGSCU calls also requires young people to have a Certified E-Mail and digital signature.
In 2020, the Ministry of Technological Innovation and Digitization promoted and adopted a Global Strategy for Digital Skills. The strategy, which is characterized by its multi-sectoral nature, also aims to increase the digital skills of the new generations by strengthening the synergy between schools, universities, between these and new jobs, policies for young people, businesses and public administration, policies for digital citizenship.
There are also numerous local and regional initiatives aimed at increasing the digital skills of young Italians. Among the many, it is worth mentioning the review “L’Ora del Coding” promoted by the Department of School, University, Research, Digital Agenda of the Emilia-Romagna Region; an initiative that aims to involve young people, offering them digital programming and construction activities in an easy and fun way.
Most notably the PNRR plan is heavily dedicated to the improvement of digital competences for Italian citizens at large, with an investment of 250milion, under the Mission 1 of the plan: innovation and digitalisation.