Some Italian ‘big babies’ not hungry for work, says Venice manufacturer

Some Italian ‘big babies’ not hungry for work, says Venice manufacturer

Young people claimed on social media sites that they had been constantly thwarted in their job hunting, offered at best casual, short-term contracts which offered no security.

Many have given up hope of finding work altogether – around a third of Italians aged between 15 and 29 are neither in education, employment or training.

While many are undoubtedly enduring hardship as the recession grinds on, others appear content to rely on their families for support.

Italians have a word for people who choose to live with their parents well into their thirties and even forties – bamboccioni, or “big babies”, who refuse to fly the nest and instead sponge off their families.

More than half of Italians under the age of 40 still live with their parents and rely on their financial help, according to a study released in May compiled by SWG, a polling agency.

Mr Pagotto is not the first businessman to call into question Italians’ willingness to take less than ideal jobs in order to kickstart their careers.

In April it emerged that the country needs 6,000 pizza makers, or “pizzaioli”, but is struggling to fill the vacancies, despite the fact that 2.5 million people are without jobs.

Italians are shunning the opportunity because of unsociable hours and hot, uncomfortable working conditions, and the gaps are increasingly being filled by immigrants, particularly Egyptians.

Italy is also in need of engineers, economists, sales personnel, construction workers and caterers, according to a study by Unioncamere, an association that groups together Italy’s chambers of commerce.

Last year a government minister, Elsa Fornero, told graduates not to be “overly choosy” when they looked for their first jobs – advice that might have gone unremarked in Britain but which caused outrage in Italy.

Ms Fornero, who was then labour minister in the interim technocrat government led by Mario Monti, said that with the economy in dire straits, “one cannot expect to find the ideal position”.

Mr Pagotto said he grew up with a robust work ethic, finding his first job at the age of 15 in a white goods factory.

“I went to work by bicycle and by the age of 27 I was responsible for a thousand employees.

“Sometimes it seems that people don’t understand that to eat, you need to work.”

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