Sicily is one of the hardest hit regions of Europe in unemployment is concerned. With a rate of 19% (twice the national average), in Sicily, 40% of young people are unemployed.
The big problem with young people is a major headache to Sicilian society is ESL. 26% of young Sicilians between 18 and 24 years has not got a title and also attends school or vocational training institutes. No studying, not working and not try to learn a trade, are known as the generation NEET (Not in Employment, Education and Training).
Even among college students is rare to find someone who has a job. Although grants in Italy are not very splendid, in Sicily there are not many students or part-time jobs. In fact, the most common jobs among college students are about informal classes or public relations of a bar, work performed illegally, not quoted and paid in black money. Here the average age to start to work (if you are lucky enough to find a job) is either at age 16, if you leave school, or at age 18 (both university students who are working as young people who choose not to go to college and get into the workforce).
Another thing that I found curious is that in Italy there is no minimum wage law regulated as in Spain or France. It turns out that here the minimum wage is determined by bargaining agreements. For example, when several students asked what the minimum wage which would be willing to work, everyone told me that “it depends.” As I have commented depend on the type of work they did, the hours, the need for money … It could be from 150 € per month for giving private lessons to 400 € a month for public relations exercise.
In housing, it generally is very difficult to find an apartment for one person for a modest price. Normally young people who rent an apartment for one person are those who have a good job, or at least, a good salary. In general young people live in shared flats in the city center or in the university area that is cheaper. It’s not common to share a room, but so EVS volunteers do that one in our house.
To conclude that, although the Italian culture and society resembled me quite to Tenerife’s today strikes me as even more similar. We are in the provinces most affected by the crisis and I can not help but wonder if it will have something to do with the character of the islanders with such high unemployment?
Right now I stop writing and go for a walk along the beach