The Government could ask employers to play a crucial role in integrating
refugees and economic migrants into British society through a ‘buddy’ mentoring
Home secretary David Blunkett said he was impressed by Canada’s Buddy
Scheme, which helps immigrants develop links with their new home country.
The scheme puts immigrants in touch with volunteers from companies who help
with their cultural integration and try to match their skills to employment.
Employers could have an important role in promoting this volunteering among
staff. At the conference, Blunkett said: "I like the idea of a buddy
scheme. Employers might take this up."
Rosaline Frith, director of citizenship and immigration in Canada, told
delegates the Buddy Scheme had been successful in helping integrate new
arrivals both culturally and economically.
"People say the programme was a godsend and a positive way of learning
about Canadians and their way of life," Frith told the conference,
organised jointly by the Industrial Society, Foreign Policy Centre and the