Is there a lack of workers or decent work?

Is there a lack of workers or decent work?

Companies and shops denounce the difficulty in finding people, for the season and beyond: but the citizenship income is only part of the problem. And obviously not the most significant

Photo: Simone Cosimi Are there no workers, as explained by various reports based on the numbers of some surveys of specialized companies in the sector, or is there a lack of good work? We should start from this question, not from anything else, when we read news such as those that explain to us that companies have difficulty in finding people: according to Unioncamere, 560 thousand new contracts will open in June, more than before the annus horribilis 2020. at the end of August there will be 1.3 million seats available, with a positive balance of 7% according to Manpower. Yet the job offer (yes, it is the companies that ask for it and the workers who offer it, terms and concepts are often confused) seems insufficient. Why?

It is obviously necessary to understand what kind of debate it is. If the so-called "talent shortage", that is the lack of figures with medium-high training and specific skills, perhaps in the Stem field, has been a reality for a long time (in Italy we are 85% of discrepancies between sought and identified figures) , the debate of these days is, as always, plunging into qualunquistic oversimplification. Involving, without too much distinction, every kind of employment, basically justifying it with citizenship income. Even the writer, collecting direct testimonies for example from restaurateurs, has collected this preponderant version: people do not accept job offers, for example at this stage with respect to seasonal assignments (bars, restaurants, factories, hotels and so on) because they are afraid of lose their income, or Naspi or layoffs and other subsidies and "don't want to work".

The question returns to divide a country that, on this aspect, has never made peace with itself: on the one hand, the school of those who say that you have to work anyway, regardless of the conditions, and that if waste you are a parasite of the state. On the other hand, those who, on the other hand, rightly ask that rights, guarantees and remuneration be respected and dignified and that jobs that do not honor the perimeter of that dignity can and should be rejected. The former replied that it is often precisely those who take subsidies who perhaps ask to work illegally, so as not to take them and round up.

This general framework is declining today, with one million more unemployed after the pandemic year and a market inevitably distorted by subsidies and a freeze on layoffs that wonders what will happen in the next few months, in a disheartening painting on the speed of job recovery. And in a sometimes embarrassing narrative that, again as in many other areas, pits a piece of the country against the other among those who, perhaps, have an untouchable permanent job and allow themselves to criticize those who refuse 500 euros a month in black a bar.

"We are faced with many workers who, in order not to lose Naspi, layoffs, citizenship income, ask us to be paid in black - Matteo Musacci, vice president of Fipe explains to Repubblica - If there is so much black in our sector, two questions must be asked, I don't think entrepreneurs are happy to take this type of risk. In addition, even with regular contracts, we are faced with a profession that has salaries that are not adequate for the commitment required, also due to the excessive cost of labor ". Therefore, a few more elements can be glimpsed to better frame the question: work is hard and often poorly paid, if not in the black, therefore without protections and contributions, without guarantees and - as often happens in Italy - given and not offered. In short, it is more like exploitation. And it is good that people begin to send exploitation to the devil, rightly keeping any subsidies they enjoy in their pockets: it is actually up to the state to link the disbursement of those subsidies to active labor policies. Instead, in our country they are still after the golden age of the American King Midas of the Anpals, Mimmo Parisi: the body is now a police station, it could only end like this, and among the tasks that await it there is also this . Making sense of that huge surfers' ad and if possible redesigning active policies that, if so, manage to break a chain that is perhaps understandable but obviously unsustainable for the country. Faced with a choice between subsidy and poor quality work, what choice would we make?

Going up with the skills the situation obviously changes, but then not too much. Those who are more trained go abroad, where they get higher salaries, more significant benefits and where perhaps the young age is not considered an obstacle but, on the contrary, an added value. According to data collected by the Almalaurea inter-university consortium, about half of Italian graduates would in fact move abroad for work: the UK, Switzerland, Germany, France and Spain are the preferred destinations. A third would also change continent. Five years after the end of their studies, those who work abroad receive on average a salary of almost 800 euros more than those who work in Italy: 2,266 euros against 1,407. In the Stem world this fork is even higher. What are we talking about? Who is it that has to change their conditions and their demands: who is applying for work or who is offering it?

Returning to the debate that mainly involves tourism and seasonal workers, the themes are also other. They combine practical and psychological elements: on the one hand, after 15 months of almost total blockade, people have started to do something else. Maybe they found the courage to invest in themselves, maybe they changed jobs, maybe they perceive support that the offers of these weeks do not scratch an inch because they are offers (willy-nilly) very bad, which according to insiders often move on indecent figures, from a few hundred euros, full-time disguised as part-time and obviously an element linked to safety that many events, just think of the recent case of guitarist Roberto Angelini, highlight. Why shouldn't you want to work under the right conditions? Companies that put the right conditions on the plate do not have big problems: it is often better to cry anticipated tears than to have an analysis of conscience.

There is also an element probably linked to the pandemic: such an overwhelming event , which has invested our lives to close the future, cannot fail to have awakened the consciences of many. And having revealed the risk that, as from 2008 onwards, the "crisis" was the good excuse for every cut, reduction in salary, increase in hours, abuse in the workplace, now even the "pandemic" may end up replicating that dynamic a decade from now. With job applications of all kinds to be taken in a poke, because in the middle of a pandemic what do you want to expect.

Let's start offering good jobs, in good standing, and with adequate wages and we will also solve a piece of this problem. Even beyond the citizenship income which, it is true, as it is - left unfinished - does more harm than good and is an absolute failure. Even beyond the lunar narratives that we have to hear about this phenomenon. We are realizing that more and more those who feel exploited, despite everything, in the end send to the devil and give up: is it really all the fault of the young people who do not want to work?

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