The Guardian: Cuts to migrant projects fuel local tensions, warns report

Lack of help to find English lessons and jobs is a barrier to integration, thinktank says
27 August, 2018


Commentary by Francois Crépeau: “Britain is another society which feels collectively threatened by immigration and does not invest in the social and labour integration of migrants. The foreseeable outcomes of such lack of vision will come to haunt British authorities for decades to come.”

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, and that more than 37% of EU migrants are overqualified for their jobs in the UK.

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.

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