Lifestyle & Belief

Italy facing shortage of pizza makers, despite big appetites and high unemployment


A pizzaiolo of the Brandi restaurant holds a pizza named after Queen Margherita of Savoy during a ceremony to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the pizza Margherita on June 11, 2009 in Naples.



Italy is facing an acute shortage of pizza makers.

One out of every five managers surveyed for a report by FIPE, an Italian business federation, said that they were forced to hire unskilled laborers after failing to find anyone who was qualified.

Despite a long recession and high unemployment, few Italians wan't the job because of the long hours and poor pay, ABC News reported.

An estimated 6,000 skilled "pizzaioli" — or pizzeria workers — were currently needed, FIPE reported.

The problem is compounded by the fact that the pizza sector is booming, with Italians eating three billion pizzas a year.

In a report released this week, Fipe said of the pizza makers:

''Notwithstanding the economic crisis and unemployment, it is proving difficult to find them.''

The London Telegraph wrote that Italian pizzerias had filled the gap in local employment and also now ran many of the pizza restaurants and hole-in-the-wall takeaways in Rome, Milan and Turin and other tourism meccas.

'The paper quoted Amadeo Al-Wikel, an who emigraant from Cairo to Rome who runs a pizzeria near Rome's Trevi Fountain, tas saying:

"Iwould say about 80 per cent of Egyptians who come to work in Italy end up as pizza makers. We are good at it because we are prepared to work hard. Italians, in contrast, want a nice comfortable office job where they can work six hours a day, five days a week, in air-conditioning. They're not prepared to work 10, 12 hours a day.''

Alessandro Rossi, who runs another pizzeria in Rome, was shocked that with an unemployment rate among young people of 35 percent, so many Italians refused to take up an occupation that is part of their cultural DNA.