From Immigration to Integration

Local Solutions to a Global Challenge

image of From Immigration to Integration

For the potential advantages of migration to be harnessed, it is crucial that immigration be accompanied by integration, or effective mechanisms for ensuring that immigrants are incorporated into labour markets, the economy and society. While immigration policy is often determined, designed and funded at the national level, its impact on migrants and society is more strongly felt at the local level where other policies interact. This publication highlights principles and factors which are important in supporting integration locally. A comparison of local initiatives implemented in five OECD countries - Canada, UK (London), Spain, Italy, and Switzerland - answers key questions facing all policy makers and stakeholders working in this field. This book provides a set of concrete policy recommendations for implementation at both local and national levels.

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Innovating in the Supply of Services to Meet the Needs of Immigrants in Italy

Local authorities play an important role in supporting integration in Italy, particularly in the provision of emergency management and access to affordable housing. Local NGOs, often connected to the Catholic Church, also play a key role, partly through supporting the development of social networks which are crucial in a country where much employment is advertised informally. At the regional level, the European Social Fund has provided an important means of supporting access to training, and chambers of commerce have been active in supporting immigrant entrepreneurship and developing innovative bilateral training schemes with regions in sending countries. While such local and regional initiatives have had success in helping people into jobs, their ability to support longer term integration in Italy is more doubtful, partly due to a lack of emphasis on long term career planning and development.

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