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The state of training in the Italian Public Administration

In 10 years, spending on training in the Public Administration has been halved. The numbers of the INAPP 2021 survey and future scenarios.

In order to respond to the challenges posed by demographic and technological transformations, Public Administration today requires greater transparency, simplification and openness to the needs of citizens. From this point of view, it becomes necessary to intervene on the organization of work and on the training of internal staff, encouraging the development of new skills that not only concern the updating of regulations or the use of technological and digital tools, but also the adoption of innovative ways of working and relating with colleagues and with citizens-users (soft skills).

Nonetheless, the data on training in Public Administration over the last 10 years point in the opposite direction. From 2008 to 2018, spending on training in PA has, in fact, halved, from 262 to 154 million annually. At the same time, the average age of employees has risen by more than 6 years, from around 44 years in 2008 to more than 50 in 2018.

These are the data contained in the INAPP 2021 Report just published and presented during the webinar "Analysis and development of skills in Public Administration. Inapp's proposal to support change", organized last July 20.

The study, which involved 3,673 Institutional Units, highlighted some worrying data:

  • 71% of PAs have not carried out any needs analysis prior to training planning;
  • 76% of PAs have not carried out any specific course design activities;
  • less than a third of the PAs implement a final evaluation of the courses conducted;
  • only 19% draw up a plan for employee training;
  • less than a fifth have adopted technological innovations 4.0 for the digitization of services and internal work procedures.

The training provided is predominantly of a "training" type and concerns legal-administrative skills or compulsory training, in a strongly "compliance" perspective. On the other hand, managerial, managerial, organizational, data processing and familiarity with new digital technologies seem rather neglected.

The rate of participation in training and the rate of access to training among the over-50s are lower than those of the under-50s: on average, an over-50 participates in training courses for four hours less than an under-50.

Moreover, in two out of three administrations, the most widespread tool for updating the skills of the over-50s is direct daily working relations with colleagues and/or managers. This fact, combined with the fact that almost half of the administrations leave the responsibility for professional development up to the individual, shows how often there is no clear plan to counteract the obsolescence of the skills of older workers.

On the whole, there is little planning with respect to development and career paths for people. It is therefore desirable, according to Sebastiano Fadda (president of INAPP), to strengthen the managerial and planning capacity within the Administrations.

Translated with

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