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Khan commits £600,000 to ‘tackle barriers to social integration’

The mayor of London has committed to a new £600,000 integration strategy, which will specifically look at bringing young people and families close to the community.

Sadiq Khan launched the new measures earlier this week in response to claims that the capital needed to become a more socially integrated city.

While he called the city “one of the most diverse and progressive” in the world, the mayor conceded that there is more to do to ensure people become “active citizens” and help to end divisions among different sections of society.

The strategy will see the creation of the London Family Fund, which aims to support new parents while cementing and building relationships with other members of the community.

There is also an emphasis on workforce integration, with the launch of the Workforce Integration Network (WIN) to focus on young black men in London who are among the highest rates of unemployment in the capital.

“Social integration is an issue for all of us – because it benefits all of us,” Khan said. “It goes to the heart of who we are – how we treat each other and what kind of city we want London to be in the future. To achieve a truly integrated society, we must face up to some of the changes that have shaped our city.”

The plans follow on from extensive new measures set out by housing and communities Sajid Javid last week, which will see £50m invested across the country on integration projects, including English language programmes and workplace equality schemes.

The government will work with five “Integration Areas” to develop local integration plans: Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Peterborough, Walsall and Waltham Forest.

These authorities have already demonstrated a “keen grasp of the challenges they face” and have shown a “desire to try new things and learn from what works,” and learning from these areas will be shared more widely as the programme develops.

Matthew Ryder, deputy mayor for social integration, social mobility, community engagement in London added: “We are pleased to be launching the new social integration strategy today. The mayor has always emphasised that a modern, diverse city also needs to be an integrated city.

“This strategy represents the transition of social integration from a misunderstood idea into a mainstream principle that will influence how public bodies create policy and allocate resources.”

Top image: Lauren Hurley PA Wire

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