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There is broad literature showing a divide in the paths taken by Italian and immigrant children after compulsory education (middle school). Compared to their Italian peers, immigrant children are more likely to start working or choose vocational training as a way to enter the labor market sooner instead of going to schools (typically lycées, in Italy) that prepare students for successive university education.

Fondazione Cariplo research team conducted research to get further insight into this issue using information from national databases. The team analysis confirmed that alongside the usual factors - i.e. social and economic status, performance -  being an immigrant or coming from an immigrant family is itself a determinant of education choices.

In other words, all other conditions being equal, there is a specific bias leading immigrant children to choose ‘lower’ education pathways (more likely to leave education early, less likely to go to schools that prepare for university and graduate). In addition to being a factor of social injustice,   this also means that skills and talents are not efficiently harnessed.

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