Skip to main content
EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Italy

Italy

8. Creativity and Culture

8.10 Current debates and reforms

Upcoming Political Developments

The reorganization of the MIUR is part of the new regulations relating to the theme of culture with particular regard to young people, through its division into two distinct departments: one in charge of the management of skills relating to the world of schools, primary and secondary (ME) and another in charge of the care of public interests in the university environment (MUR).

Reintroduction of civic education - education for active and digital citizenship.

In 2020, the Ministry of Education issued guidelines for the reintroduction of teaching civic education in all levels of education starting from kindergarten starting from the school year 2020-2021. There are three axes around which Civic Education will revolve: the study of the Constitution, sustainable development, digital citizenship.

Youth Fund for Culture

Some regulatory changes have been adopted as part of the measures aimed at supporting and reviving the economy as a result of the COVID-19 health emergency in 2020. In art 24 of theLaw Decree 104/2020 urgent measures have been dictated for the protection of cultural heritage and entertainment. Specifically, new insolvency procedures have been included for the recruitment of personnel to carry out the functions of protection and valorisation of the cultural heritage and landscape of the Archaeological, Fine Arts and Landscape Superintendencies. To facilitate the access of young people to cultural careers and support the activities of protection and valorisation of cultural heritage, a fund renamed “Youth Fund for Culture'' was refinanced (already provided for by theprevious legislationbut only on a temporary basis).

Ongoing debates

University-world of work debate

The main debate on the relationship between young people and culture, in a broad sense, regards the gap between the competences and skills acquired through university and post-graduate training and the skills required for a rapid and adequate transition into the workplace. The widespread criticism is that academic training, especially in the humanities, is excessively theoretical to the detriment of the need for businesses and employers (public and private) to make use of workers capable of managing production processes. The question arose again the day after the succession to the chair of Rector of the Federico II University of Naples: the press questioned local entrepreneurs to indicate some priority objectives for the future rector of the University. Among the main points, theneed was highlighted that experience in the field be added to the theory, increasing internships within companies and with particular reference to the specific needs of SMEs. On the other hand though, there has been an increasing complaint regarding the tendency to impose production values to academic and intellectual work, forcing those in it in conditions of overworking, especially young people, researchers and those in more precarious positions. This phenomenon has been worsened during the pandemic, particularly with the massive transition to smart working, that in most of the cases didn’t happen with a proper education and transition, but just to deal with the emergency. This cause many cases of burnout but also of violation of people's private lives, with the disappearance of boundaries between working and private life. Many believe this is caused by “the obsession for productivity” that is spreading also through University and that is pushing people to work more instead of working better, as stated in many articles and opinion pieces.

Brain drain” debate.

Another heated debate is related to the phenomenon of the so-called “brain drain: the tendency of young people educated and trained in Italy to move abroad to pursue better working opportunities, for higher incomes or for jobs that are more suitable for their individual aspirations or studies.

Debate on the precariousness of cultural professionals

Among the other current debates, it is worth mentioning the precariousness of workers in the creativity, culture and entertainment sector. The annual study entitled “Io sono cultura 2019” highlights growth for the Italian creative and cultural sector in 2018, but stillprecarious working conditions, as emerges from the report of the Centro Studi Doc Foundation. Job insecurity in the culture and entertainment sector is also highlighted by the study “Vita da artisti” (carried out in 2017 by the Di Vittorio foundation, with the support of SLC-CGIL) and by the trans-European study (but with a focus on individual countries, including Italy) 2016-2018, “IndependentWorkers and Industrial Relations in Europe” (co-funded by the European Commission and produced by I-Wire).  Since 2020, with the COVID-19 health emergency, the creativity, culture, cultural tourism and entertainment sectors have reported serious problems from an employment point of view. The data collected from theCultura e lavoro ai tempi di COVID-19” survey, carried out by the movement and association ‘Mi riconosci? Sono un professionista dei beni culturali’ show theproblematic repercussions that the virus has had on the lives of professionals. The cd. “Decreto Rilancio'' has included some measures for workers in the entertainment sector. The Fus (single fund for entertainment) for example, was extended from €130 million to €245 million and its budget is going to be of 50 million per year, starting from 2021 and ending in 2050. Associations have also been created (“La musica che gira”, to name one, with producers, various artists, technicians, record labels, etc.) committed to asking institutions for equal access to the support measures for all cultural professionals who operate in the music sector.