One of the aims of European Employment Strategy is to encourage school-towork transitions and employability of young graduates. Moreover, a stronger relationship between education and economic system is also one of the objectives of "Bologna’s Conference", in particular in the Mediterranean countries. In this scenario, internship would play a dual role: as a tool to encourage learning by doing and as an opportunity for the construction of a "professional self", especially when career paths are becoming increasingly fragmented and uncertain. European data confirm a correlation between internship and employability, but in Italy this link seems weaker. The national model of regulation and specific constraints of the local labor market play a role in making internship a less effective tool for learning and employability of graduates, particularly in South Italy. The paper aims to test this hypothesis with a survey to a sample of graduates in Catania (N = 1157). The local dimension of the investigation confirmed how processes of coercive isomorphism at European level face the attributes of the socio-institutional environment of a certain territory, affecting the learning conditions and the opportunities of employability for interns.
Keywords: School to work transitions, youth unemployment, over-education, tertiary education, placement office