HTI: what they are and why they facilitate the entry in the labor market

26 June 2024

Born in 2010,  Higher Technological Institutes are distinguished by the practical approach with high employment rate one year after graduation. Since 2021 the Intesa Sanpaolo Group has also collaborated with the HTI Academy

HTI students HTI students

The entry into the labour market by younger people is historically complex, thanks to the mismatch between the skills acquired during the course of studies and those required by companies. To bridge this gap, in 2010 the Higher Technological Institutes (HTI) were born, which provide tertiary training aimed at training "superior technicians": specialists in strategic technological fields for our country and internationally, able to support the digital transition and enterprise innovation.


What HTI (Higher Technological Institutes) are and how they work

HTI represent the first Italian experience of non-university post-secondary education similar to those of other European countries: high-tech schools that can be accessed by young people with high school diploma, or a diploma of 4 years of vocational education and training followed by an annual HTET (Higher Technical Education and Training) course of not less than 800 hours. 

Since their inception, HTI has become the main reference point for post-graduate vocational training based on three key elements: close links with the business world, co-design of innovative paths and laboratory teaching methodology strongly oriented to practice. Overcoming university-work dualism, students attending HTI can start to build their career or continue their studies to acquire additional skills, thus having greater prospects for professional growth. 

With the aim of making them more attractive, the Draghi Government through the Law No 99 of 15 July 2022 has changed the name of  HTI - become Higher Technological Institutes and also known as HTI Academy Foundations -training of highly skilled technicians.

The Reform has strengthened an already proven system with average employment rates above 85% a year after graduation, enriching the training offer in response to the needs of the productive sector of the territories as well as the new prospects of the labour market and, more generally, of the economy. 

HTI student at the PC HTI student at the PC

The "tasks" of the HTI Academy Foundations are many: dissemination of scientific and technological culture; orientation of young people towards the technical professions and information to their families; updating and in-service training of teachers of scientific disciplines, technological and technical-professional activities in schools and vocational training systems; technology transfer mainly for PMI.

With the Reform, the training courses of the HTI Academy have been divided into two levels: the first has a two-year duration with a minimum of 1,800 hours of classroom training and leads to the "specialization diploma for applied technologies"; the second lasts three years with 3,000 hours of training between theoretical, practical and laboratory activities, allowing to obtain the "higher diploma for applied technologies" equivalent to a three-year degree.

In addition, the Reform has increased the amount of compulsory training and internships - also carried out abroad and supported by scholarships - to 35% of the total, also providing that classroom training is provided for at least 60% of the total number of hours by teachers from the world of work. 

As regards the courses, the training offer has been expanded from six to ten professional areas on which the different paths focus:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Sustainable Mobility and Logistics
  • Chemistry and New Life Technologies
  • Business and non-profit services
  • Agri-food system
  • Home system and built environment
  • Mechatronics
  • Fashion system
  • Information, communication and data technologies
  • Innovative technologies for heritage and artistic and cultural activities and for Tourism. 
HTI student and tutor HTI student and tutor

The centrality of the synergistic collaboration between HTI and companies

Among the strengths of HTI is the close synergistic collaboration with companies, with an experiential approach that allows students to experience concretely what they have learned in business contexts, thus putting into practice the notions and concepts learned in the classroom. A collaboration that allows each HTI Academy to operate in contact with companies in the area of reference, proposing training courses designed for the inclusion in the labor market of students who bridge the mismatch between the supply and demand of skills. 

In addition, Law No. 99 of 15 July 2022 allows the development of "hybrid" study paths, giving the possibility to HTI Academy to establish collaborations with other HTI Foundations related to different technological areas, thus providing interdisciplinary study paths that have brought to 58 the number of professional figures trained thanks to this type of courses . 

The training offered by the Higher Technological Institutes has already proved "successful", as certified by the data processed by the INDIRE portal on the recommendation of the Ministry of Education and Merit. From the 2024 monitoring of the 369 pathways completed in 2022 provided by 98 HTI Academy emerges that 87% of graduates a year after obtaining the qualification have found employment, with 93.8% of these who entered a sector consistent with the course of study attended.

A strong push for ITS has also come from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), which provides an allocation of 1.5 billion euros for the HTI Academy Foundations under Mission 4 to facilitate the integration between education, research and the labour market thanks to synergies able to form new resources (students) for the future. Mission 4 of the NRRP has a total budget of 30.1 billion euros until 2026: 19.1 billion destined to the "Potenziamento of the offer of the services of education; from kindergartens to the University"; 11 billion for the voice "From the search to the enterprise".

The collaboration between the Intesa Sanpaolo Group and HTI: impacts and new initiatives to support the NRRP

Intesa Sanpaolo has been collaborating with the HTI Academy Foundations since 2021 thanks to the revision of the Group’s policy promoted by Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center with the competent People Management and HR Transformation Central Management structures, that has extended to the students of the HTI the possibility to be inserted in curricular stage previously reserved only to undergraduates and graduates.

Since 2021, a fruitful collaboration with HTI Foundation ICT Piemonte has been launched, further consolidating the positive impact that Intesa Sanpaolo and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center have on the territory and citizens. 

Thanks to the agreements between Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center and Piazza dei Mestieri, it has been possible to involve the US accelerator Techstars in the initiative, with nine students who have contributed to the success of the Techstars Trasformative World Torino project since 2021. A result defined "beyond expectations" by Martin Olczyk, Managing Director of Techstars.

Also in 2024, two students at the 2nd year of the Digital Strategist Course at the HTI ICT Piedmont Foundation "put into practice" what they learned in the classroom with a 16-week internship (630 hours) in the Communication, Culture and Marketing of Innovation, integrating into the activities carried out by the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Centre’s Communication and Events office. 

At the end of the internship, the two young people concluded their studies, dealing in their respective theses with the educational format "In the classroom with Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center" and the Materias Book "The first steps of an innovative startup". 

The initiatives implemented in collaboration with HTI Foundation ICT Piemonte are part of the commitment of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group to support the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, which provides for the allocation of 410 billion euros between 2021 and 2026 for the benefit of companies, public bodies and families, to foster the development of the entire community and for a more sustainable and inclusive future.

In line with Mission 4, the objective of the collaboration between the Group and HTI consists in the creation of training courses and internships with major innovation players, partners of Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, as well as the development of new innovation projects to support businesses and institutions, and the strengthening of the link between education, research and the working environment. To this is added the introduction to the labour market, focused on specific skills of the innovation world to encourage the birth of  "new jobs".