The long-lasting European economic crisis have worsened the already difficult school-work transition. In the southern European countries, the reduction in youth labour participation is not associated with an increase in time spent in education and training and young people often experience a sort of break in the path towards job roles and adult life, as the increasing number of Neets in the EU witness. Even the idea of work socialization weaken and youngsters remain alone self-managing his/her life career between education and work, family and personal project, loading up on his/her shoulders the burden of their own “auto-socialization”. At the same time, employment and educational policies, aiming at promoting youth activation and employability, do not seem capable to grasp both the structural inequalities affecting the work and education fields and the group heterogeneity in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, health, human capital, etc. Moreover, the European key-indicators of youth social exclusion are made of “stiff categories” (Neet, Esl etc.), inadequate to take into account life trajectories increasingly individualized, discontinuous and uncertain; hence the difficulty to design policies capable to support the youth multiple transitions, making them sustainable across the lifespan, considering their different membership and personal and family traits.
Within this framework, the paper focuses on the European policies for youth employment and their implementation in Italy, investigating to which extent the Youth Guarantee Program mediate the youth integration in the labour market influencing life paths, contributing to shape and change meanings and forms of work socialization. The paper will propose an analysis based on secondary data (official reports) and qualitative data (interviews with the main policy actors involved in YG), also in order to identify strength and weakness of measures enacted by educational institutions and employment services, and to suggest future perspectives of intervention and improvement.