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Finding work in Italy

While Italy boasts many thriving industries, unemployment is high — here’s how to secure a job to support your new life as an expat living in the country.

The first thing that you should do if you’re planning to live and work in Italy is to learn the language. For Europeans this is relatively easy as so many European languages are Romance tongues. Even for non-EU nationals, you’ll soon find that the grammar is straightforward and after a few months’ tuition you’ll be able to understand a lot of everyday conversation and transactions.

There are a variety of industries in Italy, and these are just a few of the largest:

  • Packaged medicines
  • The motor car industry
  • Petroleum
  • Leather footwear, leather goods
  • Vehicle parts
  • Shipping and logistics
  • Tourism

There are countless other industries and professions in Italy that may need your services, the best thing is to carry out some intensive research.

Italy does have a high unemployment rate 11% in November 2017 and in some areas of the traditionally poor south the figure can be far higher. This means that some industries will only have short term contracts, so it’s best to check on application. If you want to find out whether your skills and qualifications are valid in Italy, all European Union (EU) states publish a list of professions and the required skills. You’ll be able to compare job requirements in Italy with those that you have from your own country. The Italian National Academic Recognition Information Centre will be able to help you carry out this comparison.

When applying for a job you must be able to demonstrate that you have the right qualifications. These can be your college or university certificates that will show that you’ve completed a relevant course or trade qualification. Experience is highly valued, so if you haven’t been working for long, ensure that you highlight any work placements, internships or transferable skills. If you’re entering a profession such as law, teaching or medicine, you’ll have to apply to the relevant professional body so that your qualifications will be recognised.

Sourcing work

A useful way of finding work in Italy is to register with an international job site, such as Euro Jobs or Xpat Jobs. Any expat intending to work in Italy can ask an Italian regional chamber of commerce if they can send you a list of overseas companies operating in their area. This will be of benefit, and help you decide which part of the country you may wish to choose as your future Italian home. If you’re a fluent English speaker you can find work as an English teacher, there are thousands of English language schools across Italy, you will have to hold the relevant qualifications.

Newspapers are always a useful source of information, and most of the major Italian newspapers are online. The Wall Street Journal, Rome, and Benn’s Media Directory, Europe are invaluable. If you want to see which are the most popular industries in Italy, and where they’re located, your local library should stock a copy of Kompass Italy as well as other trade directories. Another alternative for job hunting is to use LinkedIn. Simply type into the browser bar the Italian position that you’re looking for and then wait for the results to come in.

Business etiquette in Italy may not be what you’re used to. Find out what you need to know from our helpful article.1