NAPLES, Italy -- A Naples recruiting agency says there's a desperate shortage of pizza makers in the city.
According to ABCNewsOnline, a spokesperson at Gevi, the recruiting agency, said he'd looked in vain for two weeks to fill 20 temporary vacancies for pizzaoili (Italian plural for pizza makers).
Competition is ferocious among Italy's tens of thousands of pizzerias for properly qualified staff, who are commonly awarded permanent contracts, unless they are lured to work abroad, said a spokeswoman for the Association for Italian Pizzerias.
"Pizzaioli often go abroad or leave the job altogether, because it is such hard work," the spokeswoman said. "Anyone can become a pizza maker after four weeks of training, but you can recognize a really good pizzaoilo by how fast he is."
Pizza makers typically are paid up to 2,500 euros (U.S. $2,675) a month.
"You can find pizza makers of all sorts, but real pizzaioli are increasingly hard to find," said Antonio Pace, president of the Association of the real Neapolitan pizza. "We are sitting on a gold mine and we don't know how to exploit it," Pace said.