The importance of stages:
comparison between gen y and gen z

    • The usefulness of the internship aimed at entering the job environment has been confirmed: for 4 out of 5 young people it is an essential tool
    • High post-traineeship hiring rate: 70% of interns receive a job offer
    • Soft skills play increasingly more a central role: fundamental for 70% of the interviewees
    • Millennials and Generation Z compared: constant search for stability and safety. For a lasting working relationship both generations are willing to endure stress and invest in training courses out of their own pockets
    • Generation Z seems more willing to sacrifice stability and work-life balance
    • Welfare and attention to equal opportunities are the most sought-after traits of the ideal company

    Internships are considered a useful tool for training and entering the job environment, as well as particularly effective for receiving a job offer. This is today how the internship is experienced in Italy according to the new generations Y (Millennials, over 25 years old) and Z (up to 25 years old), based on the research promoted by FourStars and conducted with the collaboration of BVA Doxa in the months of March and April 2020, on a sample of 1477 individuals who have carried out one or more internships in companies (panel of individuals who have activated the internship through FourStars).

    STAGE: THE CONNECTING BRIDGE BETWEEN EDUCATION AND JOBS – The analysis confirms the great importance of the internship. In fact, 74% of respondents consider the internship a useful experience (and half of the sample even “very useful”) and with a dual purpose: training (71% consider it essential to acquire skills), and as an “opportunity”, especially to find a job in a specific sector and to start one’s professional career. For 65%, the internship is even “the only way to enter the world of work” and for 62% an “obligatory transition between school and work”.

    And when the internship ends? Among the young interviewees who did the internship with FourStars, the recruitment rate at the end of the internship was high: as many as 70% of the interviewees received a job offer, of which 51% from the same company where they did the internship. In addition, 53% of these receive a job offer with permanent contracts or apprenticeships, while the other half receive more precarious offers: 39% are offered fixed-term contracts and 8% are offered other types of offers.

    SOFT SKILLS ARE INCREASINGLY MORE IMPORTANT – Soft skills, the so-called ‘transversal’, relational and behavioral skills, are now indispensable requirements and are considered essential by 70% of the interviewees. Today the internship is in fact considered functional above all to learn social skills (communication and interpersonal skills), multitasking and so-called adaptive thinking (the ability to “go beyond the established schemes”).

    Those who carried out the internship acquired the most skills such as flexibility and adaptability (88% of respondents) and the value of teamwork (77% of respondents). However, there is still a lot to be done in terms of “time management”: 33% feel that they have not sufficiently learned the ability to better organize time.

    The study shows that the younger generations are characterized by great concreteness and a desire to understand how the world of work in the field works. “Learning by doing” is in fact the aspect that is most appreciated and that most affected the young people interviewed, followed in the ranking by the job performed and the working environment. Less relevant, in this first phase of the career path, aspects such as corporate values ​​and culture, internal organization and attention to environmental sustainability.

    TWO GENERATIONS, SAME NEED FOR JOB SECURITY – In a context of growing precariousness and uncertainty, a constant seems evident between generation Y and Z: the search for job security and stability remains the key element among the aspirations for a professional future. Over time, this trend is even more pronounced: if 70% of Millennials are very focused on finding a job that offers stability and continuity, among the even younger iGens, the percentage jumps to 82%.

    In general, the study shows that safety is preferred over self-employment and that large companies – perhaps perceived to be more solid – are preferred over small ones. Going into the ranking details, both generations are looking for security (95%), a large company to land on (82%), a job that offers high salaries (80%) and the possibility of working close to home (76%). Therefore, if these are the aspects most sought after in a profession, other aspects seem to generate more polarized answers: in fact, half of the interviewees declare themselves uncertain or unwilling to work independently by launching an entrepreneurial activity (49%), to work in a small and medium enterprises (47%) or to move away from their city for shorter or longer periods (47%). 

    GEN Z MORE READY TO GIVE-UP STABILITY AND WORK-LIFE BALANCE – A lazy generation? The report actually shows the opposite. Young Millennials and iGen (generation Z) are willing to do a lot to carry out the profession they want or work in the company they want: almost half (46%) are willing to endure high workloads / stresses for a long period and investing in additional training courses out of pocket (49%). For a short time, 70% of respondents are willing to take on tasks that they only partially fulfill and accept below expectations.

    Compared to the possibility of working with a temporary contract that does not guarantee employment, it is interesting to note some differences between the two generations that would seem to indicate a relative increase in flexibility: if 16% of Millennials declare that they are willing  to work even for a long period on a precarious contract, generation Z seems to be more willing to compromise (21%). While 23% of Millennials would not accept these types of contracts at all, this percentage drops to 14% among iGens.

    This trend, which denotes greater willingness to sacrifice on the part of post-Millennials, is also accentuated with respect to the work-life balance: if for generation Y the home-work balance is the number one priority in evaluating a job ( for 58% of the interviewees), closely followed by the ambition to make a career (55%), these priorities are reversed in Generation Z: 61% consider the opportunity to make a career more important than the work-life balance (44 %). The number three priority for both is job security, with a gap between Y (33%) and Z (43%) that has already emerged previously.

    IDENTIKIT OF THE IDEAL COMPANY: WELFARE, EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES AND VALUES, BUT TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION AS WELL – Among the most important characteristics of the ideal company, young people value a lot the presence of welfare measures (fundamental respectively for 78% of talented Z and for 69% of Millennials) and equal opportunities (63% of the total).

    Value alignment and issues related to transparency with consumers are considered fundamental aspects by 44% of respondents (with greater attention from iGen, equal to 50%, against a lower percentage of Millennials, at 33%).

    Finally, technological innovation also plays a key role: for those who have carried out an internship in the service sector, digitization ranks third in the scale of the aspects that most positively affected the internship experience (immediately after the possibility of hiring and the opportunity to learn “on the job”).

    To know more about the “Stage Observatory” and the complete research, please contact:

Allorio Luce
Luce Allorio –

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