Jan.08 - A record 37% of Italians aged 15-24 are now out of work, compared with a national average of 11%. Tackling youth unemployment will be one of the main challenges for whoever succeeds outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti. Joanna Partridge reports
It looks like a queue for a concert or sports event. But these young Italians are waiting to sit a job exam. Hundreds of thousands are competing for 11,000 trainee teaching posts at nursery schools in the Lazio region. Many have given up hope of finding employment. And it's no wonder - a record 37% of Italians between 15 and 24 are out of work. SOUNDBITE: Rosaria Resciniti, Italian job applicant, saying (Italian): "You have to move abroad, if you stay here you're condemned. There are no alternatives, even if you want to do something on your own, you're not given the chance. It's a country for old people." SOUNDBITE: Aurora Boison, Italian job applicant, saying (English): "I've just moved into my own home, I hope to get this job to pay the bills. I'm 27 and it's time to move out of my parents' house." Youth unemployment is much higher than the national average of 11%. Many young Italians are forced to keep living with their parents or move abroad. Those lucky enough to find a job are often only offered temporary contracts with limited benefits. Italians are realising the crisis isn't going to end any time soon, says the President of Italy's Statistics Institute. SOUNDBITE: Enrico Giovannini, President of Italy's National Institute of Statistics, ISTAT, saying (English): "There is no reason for waiting for a better scenario in a few weeks or a few months, I think that this explains why some people are now looking more actively for a job while before they were inactive." Prime Minister Mario Monti wanted to reform the labour market, but he's found it hard to change the rigid rules for hiring and firing. Getting Italians into work is one of the main challenges he and the other candidates for prime minister will face in February's elections.