01.12.2016

Release of government report into integration imminent

The Government is expected to publish its review into integration in our country over the coming days. The Casey review will focus on the stark impact of ethnic, class and faith segregation in Britain and will no doubt spark intense debate over how we tackle these divisions.

In a piece in the Guardian this week, Rafael Behr references the work of The Challenge and the NCS programme as a step in the right direction to addressing these issues. He argues that ‘Britain is strangled by barbed-wire fences of class, region, wealth, faith, age, the urban, the rural, leavers and remainers. This is a national disease for which there is no remedy in singling out a specific group of people.’ Behr makes the point that whilst the recommendations in the Casey report are likely to cause heated debate and outrage, Theresa May must rise above this to make ‘integration sound like a collaboration and an invitation not an order or a rebuke’.

Jon Yates, Director of External Affairs at The Challenge, similarly argued that we all share the responsibility for working towards an integrated society, in an article in The Huffington Post today.

It is essential that Louise Casey’s review speaks to all ethnic groups, all races and faiths and not single out one or two. We all, but particularly politicians and civic leaders, have a responsibility to build an integrated society – one in which we can forge friendships with those different to ourselves. There is increasingly clear evidence that a failure to promote social integration grows anxiety and the fear of crime, encourages prejudice, restricts social mobility and increases unemployment.

It has been proven that it is at the local level – in the workplace, at the school gates and on programmes such as the National Citizen Service, that integration is at its most effective. So many in Britain feel disconnected and left behind, as Brexit has shown, now is the moment to put social integration at the top of all of our agendas.

Jon Yates, director at The Challenge