A cross-party group of Parliamentarians has called for the UK Government to develop a ‘meaningful’ integration programme to help immigrants settle into British life.
In a new report, published today, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Integration has called for a new national Government strategy for the integration of immigrants including issues such as access to the labour market and awareness of the UK’s laws, traditions and culture.
MPs are also calling for new arrivals to be enrolled in compulsory English language courses.
The Refugee Council has long called for an integration strategy, to enable refugees and people seeking asylum to be better able to begin rebuilding their lives safely and successfully.
Last year, our own research revealed a chaotic system which was leaving newly recognised refugees hungry and homeless, completely undermining their chance of fully participating in British society.
Responding to the report, Refugee Council Director of Advocacy Dr. Lisa Doyle said: “This is welcome acknowledgement that the UK Government sorely lacks an integration strategy to enable and equip new arrivals to the UK to settle into British life and begin contributing to our culture and communities.
“However, while there are some common challenges; such as being able to access English lessons in the face of swathing cuts to ESOL provision, it’s vital any integration strategy also addresses specific challenges faced by specific groups, such as refugees, who have to overcome homelessness and destitution before even being able to think about rebuilding their lives.
“Targeted advice and support is what’s needed for integration to be truly successful.”
Today’s report comes ahead of another Parliamentary Inquiry, led by the APPG on Refugees and supported by the Refugee Council, which has been specifically investigating the integration prospects of refugees in Britain.
The APPG on Refugees is expected to release its report next month.