The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, launched his refugee integration strategy for London on Thursday 10 December. ‘London Enriched’ is a positive and detailed outline of the Mayor’s vision for an integrated city in which refugees are able to rebuild their lives and contribute to their communities. The Refugee Council has played a key role in influencing the thinking behind the strategy as a member of the Mayor’s Board and will be a partner in the implementation of key aspects.
The strategy identifies seven core themes:
- English language
- Employment, skills and enterprise
- Community safety
- Children and young people
- Community development and participation
It places particular importance on access to English language learning, recognising the difficulty refugees and asylum seekers have in accessing English classes.
The Refugee Council particularly welcomes the focus in the strategy on support for more effective and sustainable funding for refugee community organisations, who will be pivotal to the successful implementation of the strategy.
Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“We’re very pleased the Mayor recognises the huge contribution refugees make to London, and how important it is that there is a strategy to ensure they are able to continue to do so. The process of integration starts from the moment a refugee arrives here, and we look forward to working with him to ensure that there are enough opportunities for refugees to learn English, look for work, and rebuild their lives as part of thriving, successful communities.”