Context: Even after the establishment of the Italian dual system, the opinion and level of knowledge of the population about the Italian VET system (in particular, the parents of the lower secondary school students) do not seem to correspond to the increase in awareness by the Italian Government and Regions.
Methods: The study is conducted by mixing qualitative and quantitative methodologies. In the first exploratory part of the research, the opinions of students’ parents and teachers were collected through an online survey (91 participants), while the second part (still in progress) in-volves the administration of semi-structured interviews to teachers belonging to the student guidance networks.
Results: The results analysed so far show that most of the survey respondents do not know the characteristics of the VET programs and the possibilities available for the students. In particular, 75% of the sample is unaware of the existence of a fourth year, or approximately 60% are unaware of the existence of the dual system and of the possibility of undertaking an apprenticeship. Considering that 40% of the surveyed people deal with guidance in schools, it is possible to assert that the situation is worrying. Several proposals for action have been identified for the promotion of the VET system in Italy.
Conclusions: The study confirms the dichotomous form of the visibility of the Italian VET system. On the one hand, the strengths and potentials of the training offer and learning con-texts are valued, on the other hand, a widespread misunderstanding of the VET system, including by key people in guidance systems, emerges. As already mentioned, in the next stages of the research project we intend to identify specifically what are the possible actions to unhinge this situation.