22 / 10 / 2014 3.32pm
This week, the Social Integration Commission launched its second report, out of a series of three, entitled 'Social Integration: A wake-up call'. It explores why social integration matters and also focuses on the costs as well as the long-term consequences if action is not taken to tackle the increasing impact of segregation within our communities.
The report’s key findings show how a lack of social integration costs the UK around £6bn a year, which is caused by:
- the long-term unemployed having a lack of contact with those in work which means they are likely to remain jobless for longer. This impact alone is estimated to be £1.5bn.
- a lack of employment opportunities as people may feel that a profession is closed off to them
- a lack of integration at a community level - factors such as a lack of friendships across age groups can lead to increases in anxiety, ill-health and loneliness. This can result in healthcare costs which are estimated to be £700 million.
The report also highlights that when diverse groups do mix it is mostly a positive experience, which also increases the level of trust. This results in an increase on society’s capacity to solve problems together, rather than looking at who is to blame.
Series of three reports
The Commission’s first report, issued in June 2014, revealed the extent of a lack of social integration within Britain. The Commission’s final report, due in early 2015, will provide a set of specific recommendations for how policymakers, businesses and individuals should tackle this problem and promote social integration.
More information on diversity and integration
For more details on how organisations can promote Diversity and integration in the workplace visit our monthly feature on celebrating diversity in the workplace
. This provides information and examples of good practice to help organisations foster a positive attitude to difference.