High levels of youth unemployment and a shortage of people with critical job
skills are two sides of the same coin: an education to employment path which has stopped
working properly since a long time. A sketched analysis of the main pathologies of a 'linear'
educational system opens to the needs for new alliances: public-private partnerships devoted
to the creation of strong territorial networks, and school-firm partnerships. The core of the
paper analyses the three main instruments available for such an alliance - school-job rotation,
traineeship and apprenticeship schemes - devoting attention to the ongoing legislative
process and to the suggestions deriving from international good practices. The paper ends up
stressing four recommendations: from curricula towards competences, how to finance the
educational/vocational processes, the needs for strong territorial networks, and the new centrality
of the 'instructive' firm. It's a starting answer to the educational failure which implies
social disease and shortage of economic growth.