Sunday, August 26, 2018

Who Isn't Paying for Integration?

Repeated calls from ministers for migrants to integrate have been undermined by major cuts in key programmes designed to help them settle, a new study has warned.

A failure to help is also locking many new arrivals into low-paid work and helping to raise local tensions, according to a study by the Institute for Public Policy Research thinktank (IPPR). It found there had been dramatic cuts in funding for English lessons and other help. The study found that the annual budget for teaching English had fallen by almost two-thirds in less than a decade, from around £46 per head in 2009 to £16 in 2017.

It also found that funding for integration efforts, aimed at local authorities with high levels of migration, had dropped by almost a third, from £8 per migrant in 2009 to £5.63 in 2017. Additionally, there was evidence that local councils with the highest levels of migration have been disadvantaged most, as their funding had not kept pace with population growth.

 At the end of last year the government’s former integration tsar, Louise Casey, said the government had done “absolutely nothing” about community cohesion.

Phoebe Griffith, IPPR associate director for immigration and integration, said: “There is much evidence that immigration has helped local economies grow, but we found that this contribution is far from even. Too many migrants struggle to find their feet quickly, becoming locked into low-paid employment or working at well below their skills level. Unlocking migrants’ contribution is also essential to ensuring that UK residents feel they benefit from immigration. People need to be reassured that high levels of immigration are helping generate growth and prosperity in the places where they live.”

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