We frequently read articles or market surveys that make reference to intolerable unemployment levels despite very high percentages of companies seeking personnel and experiencing difficulties in finding them (at times as high as 40%). I am sure that you also have come across similar data, perhaps even yourselves seeking personnel and encountering the same difficulties. Why does this happen, I wonder and ask?
The answer to this question for me is not that complex. Any market, including that of work, is driven by supply and demand. Companies are looking for personnel and not finding them yet unemployment is high. Why is this? Simply because there is no crossover between supply and demand. If a company needs to find a worker and on the market there are many unemployed workers, the problem is solved by both parties. But if there are many unemployed workers and the company in question is seeking electricians, those who are unemployed however remain so and the company continues to look for personnel but is unable to find them. So:
the problem of unemployment in light of a substantial number of companies seeking personnel is, in my opinion, the lack of synchronization between supply and demand.
But why don’t supply and demand coincide? The reason in my opinion is essentially due to the fact that there is no efficient connection between school and the world of work. These days we tend to send children to school so that they can go on to university and often even beyond with the result that today “on the market” there are many graduates: engineers, architects, lawyers … Unfortunately, however, job prospects are then very often slim.
I don’t mean that following our aspirations is wrong, quite the opposite! Of course this should be the case. At the same time, however, the labour market should always be borne in mind.
To this is added the fact that, at a general level (but of course without generalizing), I am noticing a tendency to adaptation that is rather low. This is an issue which mainly involves industrialized countries. Very often shop windows in shopping centres display notices such as “Shop assistant required” but many people aren’t even interested in applying because this specific job often involves shift work or having to work on national holidays and not everyone is willing to commit to this.
Now it is the norm that the “simplest jobs” – albeit equally necessary – are being carried out by foreigners. In Italy, as in most industrialized countries, the level of education is increasingly becoming higher and this is not a bad thing. I repeat: I don’t think there is anything wrong at all in aspiring to high-profile positions but I would say that it becomes a limitation when we realize that what we have studied for has no outlet and we are not willing – not even in the meantime – to do anything else. In other words: there are many who prefer to stay at home doing nothing rather than going out and being a mundane worker. And this is where, in my opinion, they are mistaken…