Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Integration policy is not … security policy

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We believe integration policy really matters. People aged under 55 living in the UK trust their neighbours less than in any other European country.  How we rebuild this trust and the connections between people is critically important. Important for our economy and our society.

Unfortunately, integration policy is not always well understood. This week we are using the blog to challenge some of the main misconceptions.

Misconception 2: Integration policy is really about security policy. 

For some, integration policy is about targeting extremists.  This misunderstands the fact that low trust and lack of interconnection is a problem for the mainstream.  Lack of connections impacts social mobility, unemployment and social care – these are things that impact all of us. 

  • Social mobility: Relationships and networks are key to social mobility.  However, half of our poorest children are educated together in just 20% of our schools. 
  • Unemployment: 80% of jobs are never advertised but passed through word of mouth.  However half of unemployed Brits spend most of their time with others who are out of work.
  • Social Care: Loneliness makes the elderly more likely to suffer mental and physical illness.  However, 5 million senior citizens are so disconnected from society that they describe the television as their main companion.

We need an integration policy that is as much about Brighton and Wigan as Burnley and Woolwich. 

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