Youth Employment

Opportunities and regulations regarding work for teenagers in Italy...


Teens who decide university is not for them generally enter an apprenticeship (apprendistato) or obtain vocational training. Apprenticeships give young adults on-the-job training and additional education. Generally, half of each day is spent on practical training and half in theoretical training at a training facility. Apprenticeships generally last from 18 months to four years and include cooking, carpentry, beauty treatments, various types of mechanics, and agriculture. Apprentices earn 80 percent of what a fully qualified worker does, though this amount increases with experience, and they are entitled to the same holiday benefits. Most employers will pay for schooling and transportation.

A combined training and work contract (contratto di formazione lavorativa/CFL) is another option for young adults. Employers train the employee for a specific professional qualification as part of a one- or two-year employment contract. Employment is not guaranteed after the training period. During training, the government pays insurance contributions.

The Department of Youth Policies has more on internships and apprenticeships (in Italian)

Exchange programs

Within the European Union and beyond there are plenty of study exchanges for young people.


The Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs has information regarding internship opportunities with the Ministry, the EU and other international organisations.

Volunteer work

Voluntary work is popular and often allows young people to gain valuable work experience. AFSAI (Associazione per la Formazione, gli Scambi e le Attività Interculturali) promotes intercultural understanding through exchange programs and youth volunteerism.

The European Youth Portal is also a good source of information on volunteer opportunities and provides links to organisations looking for voluntary workers in and outside Italy.


Teens under the age of 15 are not allowed to work in Italy.

Adolescents over the age of 15 are allowed to work provided that they are declared fit for the work tasks after a medical examination.