Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Embracing Universal Civil Service: a dialogue on Italy's youth employment opportunities


 6 February 2024   09.00-13.30 CET Trento, Italy

The conference is funded by the European Union via European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility “NextGenerationEU”, and implemented by the by the OECD Trento Centre for Local Development and the OECD Public Governance Directorate, in cooperation with the Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support of the European Commission

The context

The Universal Civil Service (UCS) holds immense potential for the Italian economy and society. The ‘voluntary’ approach for young people transforms the conventional idea of a “mandatory service”, in Italy in force from 1960s to 2005, into a mutually beneficial platform for personal growth and community progress. At its core, it is an inclusive approach that encourages all eligible citizens to actively contribute to the country's development.

In terms of youth, there is evidence that young people's involvement in various sectors such as health, education, infrastructure and environmental initiatives not only strengthens their communities but also provides valuable skills and experience. It has also been proved that this exposure, coupled with training and development opportunities, enhances their employability upon completion of their service. Furthermore, by filling critical gaps in public services, universal civil service promotes economic stability and growth in the country.

The event is organised within the framework of the TSI project entitled ‘Supporting design and implementation of the universal civil service RRP project, to unlock youth employment opportunities.

The project aims to expand the UCS’s vision by pursuing both volunteering and employability objectives. The reports developed by the OECD examine the existing legislation and identify procedures, processes, and administrative barriers for all stakeholders, proposing reforms and solutions to make the UCS more effective and efficient.

The event

The event is aimed at discussing the key aspects of the Italian UCS and trying to answer the following questions:

  • What skills and experience are acquired during the UCS, and how are they certified?
  • Does the UCS improve the employability of young people in the private and public sectors?
  • What are the shortcomings of the Italian national law and practice on the UCS?
  • How UCS is implemented in Italy and what are different practices?
  • How do young people perceive the UCS and what are their personal experience?
  • What is the possible and desirable future for the UCS in Italy?



The event, in-person, is open to civil society and all those interested in the topic upon free registration.




Material & information


Agenda (Italian version)

Participation & format

The conference will be hybrid.

To participate in-person or online, please register here by 4 February 2024 at 23.59 CET.

The organisers reserve the right to limit the participation according to the capacity of the conference room. Registrations will be processed in the order of their receipt and will close when the limit is reached, even if that is before the official closing date.


Fondazione Caritro, via Calepina 1, Trento, Italy

Working language

The event will be held in Italian only.


[email protected]


[email protected]



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