Immigrants and new arrivals to Birmingham should be given ‘welcome packs’ to help them settle in an adjust to city life, according to a Social Inclusion Inquiry.
The six-month inquiry, led by the Bishop of Birmingham David Urquhart, found that between 2007 and 2010 people moved to Birmingham from 187 different countries.
It concluded that clearer information and shared values for everyone was needed, regardless of backgrounds.
One idea proposed was to establish ‘welcome points’ and structured ‘welcome packs’ outlining city values to ensure everyone felt included.
Further key findings in the report were that the high cost of transport was a barrier to work for young people, that one in four people experienced mental health problems at some point in their life and that many neighbourhoods needed more parks and open spaces.
It also called for closer co-operation between schools and business to improve youngsters' chances of finding employment.
Rt Rev Urquhart said: “Working towards a more cohesive city is still a massive challenge. Inequalities in health, life expectancy and education still persist.
“That is why we have been engaging with so many people across the city and beyond, to gain a fresh perspective, gathering evidence of what works, talking to people about the barriers and challenges they face and visiting examples of good practice, so that we can develop the practical responses that are needed to close the gap between our most advantaged and disadvantaged individuals and communities.”
The findings are being officially launched at a summit on Friday (July 20) involving representatives from business, community, voluntary, faith and public sectors.
Birmingham City Council’s new Cabinet member for social cohesion John Cotton added: “Tackling the deep-rooted inequalities and deprivation that scar parts of our city is one of the city council’s key priorities.
"We will be working alongside our partners to challenge the causes of deprivation and to deliver strong, cohesive communities across Birmingham.
“The council is committed to working for fairness and social justice in these tough times. We want to see an inclusive city in which many more people can play their part.
"The findings of the Social Inclusion Process will play a key role in influencing this agenda for the city.”