Holyrood Committee launches race and employment inquiry


The challenges faced by Scotland’s ethnic minorities when trying to access work are set to be heard at Holyrood, as the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee launches its inquiry into race, ethnicity and employment.

The Committee is calling for views from ethnic minority groups across Scotland, as well as employers and community groups. It comes as a recent study[1] reports persistent inequalities by ethnicity in rates of participation in employment, self-employment and unemployment among those living in England and Wales. 

Data from Scotland’s Census 2011[2] suggests similar inequalities persist in Scotland. In particular, it highlights significantly higher rates of unemployment for some ethnic minority groups, as compared with the Scottish population as a whole. Those who reported their ethnicity as African (15.4%), Caribbean or Black (11.2%) and those from a multiple or mixed ethnic group (8%) were far more likely to report being unemployed than those who reported their ethnicity as white (5%). 

Margaret McCulloch MSP, Convener of the Equal Opportunities Committee said:  

“If you come from an ethnic minority background, and want to access the same job opportunities many people take for granted, the Committee understand you can face significant barriers. Have you experienced challenges in accessing employment support and advice, and what are your experiences of employment? We want to engage with you, understand your views and encourage action on your behalf.” 

Ms McCulloch continued: 

“Crucially we want to hear about what measures are being taken – and what still needs to happen - to achieve equality in the work place.”

The deadline for submitting evidence to the Equal Opportunities Committee is Wednesday 1 July 2015. The Committee will produce a report on its findings on race, ethnicity and employment, including policy recommendations later this year.

For further details on making a submission visit: www.scottish.parliament.uk/equalopps 

[1] http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/ethnic-minority-disadvantage-labour-market
[2] http://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/ods-web/standard-outputs.html