The profession of the artisan today
Aided by the development of digital technology, network and social networks, we are witnessing a new renaissance, albeit slow, of Italian handicraft, which has always been a driving force of the Italian economy: rediscovered and revalued, it manages to get out of a local scope to look out with determination to the global market. Also and especially in cities, where the craft figure had seemed to have lost its importance, artisanship is now finding its rightful importance, new vitality, although significant economic benefits haven’t been expected yet.
In Italy, the craft sector has more than one million companies, that are approximately 30% of the national total, with a clear predominance of micro-enterprises: more than 95% of small businesses employ less than 10 workers, while something less than 80% of workers of the sector, work for companies with fewer than 10 employees. The highest concentration of companies in the sector can be traced in northern Italy, in Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna, although many regions of southern Italy highlight significant growth rates. Thus next to the old artisan figure, today emerges a new, which recurs to digital technologies and new media, either to offer services and visibility to the traditional artisan class or physically create design and craftsmanship.
Todays metropolitan craftsman is obviously a figure whom has been able to bind to design, new trends and new tastes, bringing its irreplaceable know-how to the changes that have accompanied us in time. CNA (National Confederation of Artisans and Small and Medium Enterprises), Confartigianato and all the associations that are starting to understand the importance of these new workers, have noticed and are organizing themselves to be able to fully support them.