Integration for All: press release

Press Release – The Runnymede Trust

Embargoed for 00:01, Wednesday 14th March 2018


Britain is becoming ‘Mixed Britannia’ but White communities are the slowest to integrate – Runnymede Trust


A new report has found that many White British residents are living in isolation from other communities.


The United Kingdom is become more integrated every year, but racial inequalities are still the biggest barrier to more progress.


As the Government gear up to launch a Green Paper on integration, race equality think tank the Runnymede Trust says tackling poverty is the key to better community relations.


Instead of simply looking at areas of high Pakistani population, an integration strategy should focus on delivering opportunity to the most deprived areas.


Britain’s big cities are becoming less segregated even as the black and minority ethnic (BME) population rises.


This is because cities like Leicester, Birmingham, Manchester and Bradford are becoming a kaleidoscope of different groups rather than one white and non-white community.


The Runnymede briefing also provides new analysis of labour market data to show that over half a million BME working age people are ‘missing’ from employment.


By looking at the relative gap in employment between different ethnicities, we found that there should be an additional 523,000 BME people working who are not. See Notes to Editors.


That’s larger than the entire populations of Manchester and Liverpool. If the missing BME workforce were in one place they would collectively be the fifth-biggest city in England.


Bringing this workforce back to work will not just boost the economy in a post-Brexit world, but it will improve integration because working with others improves relations between people of different backgrounds.


The report, called ‘Integration for All: Why Race Equality Matters’, also found:


·       The pattern of integration is mixed across the country, however the key to improving it is not to focus on one faith or race, but to target the most deprived regardless of background;

·       The word ‘integration’ often stigmatises BME people as being a problem or not belonging, even if they are British-born. Integration should be reframed so everyone has an equal chance to succeed;

·       Social mixing at work was the key to making progress;

·       Integration should focus on geographical areas not only particular communities, and address class and age as well as migration and ethnicity.


The Runnymede Trust are calling for:


·       A voter registration drive to tackle the nearly 400,000 missing BME electors. This should target at BME voters, including Commonwealth and Pakistani citizens, to get them more engaged with British democracy;

·       A more targeted programme of targeting English language courses so that newly arrived communities don’t miss out;

·       A number of policies to tackle longstanding and ongoing inequalities in the labour market, including linking manager appraisals and pay rises to success in supporting BME employees;

·       The government’s integration strategy should include a comprehensive cross-departmental race equality strategy in response to the inequalities raised in the Race Disparity Audit published by the government/ commissioned by the Prime Minister

·       More teaching of the history of colonialism, and training for teachers to tackle unconscious bias;

·       The teaching of the history of migration and colonialism has the potential to bring us together as we recognise our shared history.


Kimberly McIntosh, author of the briefing and Runnymede’s policy officer, said:


“Unfortunately, much of the debate over British values is dominated by alarm about difference, that we can only be British if we speak, dress and think the same way. They say ethnic minority communities living together is segregation, but white communities living separate lives is okay. All the while, we ignore the real barriers to integration: lack of race equality and social interaction between people of different ethnic and class backgrounds.


“BME communities are generally good at integrating. Studies show that UK-born black African and Caribbean people have the most diverse collection of friends but the worst outcomes for employment. As a society we need to move from treating people of colour as the problem on integration and start to focus on what we can do to make society more equal.”


Dr Omar Khan, director of the Runnymede Trust, added:


“Racial inequalities remain the biggest challenge to integration in Britain. The fact a population larger than Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol is missing from the labour market as a result of racism shutting BME people out of work is a national scandal in its own right, as well as spectacularly bad for our economy. If we don’t tackle racial inequalities in the coming decades there will be a million missing BME workers, which is a huge waste of talent.


“We shouldn’t be surprised that people who’ve grown up in Britain, who believe they are British and have never lived anywhere else, become disengaged from British society when they experience discrimination and rejection because of the colour of their skin. That is why an integration strategy needs to tackle the real causes of separation, not simply demand that minorities affirm their Britishness.”


Contact: Lester Holloway,, 07525 413 139


Notes to Editors:


1.       The briefing - ‘Integration for All: Why Race Equality Matters’ – will be published on our website at 00:01, on Wednesday 14th March 2018.

2.       A copy of the report is available under embargo. Please contact Lester Holloway.

3.       Runnymede Trust is a race equality think tank. Visit our website on

4.       In relation to the ‘missing’ BME people from the labour market: BME people have higher unemployment rates and economic activity rates compared to white British people. The difference between BME and White British unemployment rates means that 158,000 ‘extra’ BME people are unemployed, while the difference between the BME and White British activity rates means that 365,000 ‘extra’ BME people are inactive. Together this means 523,000 BME workers are ‘missing’ from the labour market, a number that will rise to 1 million in a few decades unless racial inequalities in the labour market are tackled.

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