To face the employment challenges resulting from the recent economic downturn that also affected the Trentino Region, the Autonomous Province of Trento has in 2010 increased the offer of vocational training courses for the unemployed. The long courses, lasting between 300 and 620 hours, aimed at facilitating the transition of the unemployed to new occupations by providing them the skills that are demanded on the local labor market. This paper summarizes the results of an evaluation of the occupational outcomes of these long training courses. Using propensity score matching techniques, the authors find an overall positive effect on the probability to find a new job in the medium term. However, the authors find also that these interventions were ineffective for Italian males and for the participants aged below 25 or above 45. Finally, the estimates show lock-in effects in the first six months from the start of the courses.
Keywords: Active labor market policies, training programs, unemployment, counterfactual analysis, propensity score matching, lock-in effect