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Migrant Descendants’ Intercultural Competence and their Recognition in the English and Italian Labour Market

Project description

Migrants' children – a vital asset for EU labour markets

Second and third-generation migrants with their exposure to multicultural experiences find it easier to develop intercultural competence. This is why migrant descendants may represent an important asset for the labour market in multi-ethnic societies. The EU-funded MIDIC project will conduct comparative research of the labour markets in Italy and the United Kingdom. It aims to study, for the first time, how migrant descendants perceive their intercultural competence, and how they develop and apply it in the labour market. The findings will offer recommendations for migration-led diversity in the labour market.


Migrant descendants (MD) represent an increasingly important share of the European workforce. Their multiple cultural belonging offers potential to develop intercultural competence (IC), a vital asset in contemporary labour markets. Surprisingly, neither migration studies nor literature on IC has ever examined this potential. Filling this gap is crucial if it is to make the most of the opportunities inherent to multi-ethnic societies whilst improving MD’s opportunities in the labour market.
Through qualitative research, comparing UK and Italy, MIDIC explores: A) MD’s perceptions of their IC and its development; B) MD’s and employers’ perspectives on MD’s IC use in work organisations. In this way, it sheds light on MD’s IC features and on factors hindering or favouring their development and generates recommendations on how to best utilise this potential in work organisations. Dissemination activities will raise awareness of the contribution that MD could make to society. This interdisciplinary study combines contributions from literature on migration and on IC. It promises advancements in knowledge of MD’s integration and IC conceptualisation and lays the theoretical and methodological basis for a new research area on MD’s IC.
The researcher possesses a solid background in migration studies that will be enhanced through collaboration with the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) at the University of Birmingham (UoB) (host organisation), which specialises in the study of migration-led diversity through an interdisciplinary perspective. IRiS will support the researcher in strengthening her knowledge of qualitative research methods, extending her core skills and professional opportunities. Fondazione Mondinsieme (Mondinsieme) in Reggio Emilia (secondment organisation), an intercultural centre promoting intercultural communication and integration in society, will support the development of skills around dissemination and communication of research findings


Net EU contribution
€ 212 933,76
B15 2TT Birmingham
United Kingdom

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West Midlands (England) West Midlands Birmingham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00