MSPs launch inquiry into employment opportunities for minority ethnic communities

The lack of progress by public authorities in tackling higher levels of unemployment and in-work poverty among ethnic minority communities will be the subject of a new inquiry by a Holyrood committee.

The Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee (EHRi) has issued a call for evidence as part of its inquiry, which will investigate what is being done in Scotland to make sure minority ethnic communities have the same employment, training and career progression opportunities as everyone else.

The EHRi committee will focus on public authorities covered by the Public Sector Equality Duty under the Equality Act 2010, and the steps they are taking to increase the number of people they employ from minority ethnic communities.

The call for evidence seeks views on what more can be done by employers, schools, colleges and universities to ensure people from minority ethnic communities have the same access to employment and training opportunities as the majority of the population.

Committee convener, Ruth Maguire MSP, said: “Research shows that people from minority ethnic communities continue to face poorer outcomes than the majority of the population, with higher levels of in-work poverty and lower employment rates, even though many have performed well at school or completed university or college.

“Employment is key to addressing issues of housing, education and health inequalities, poverty and encouraging participation in public life.

“This inquiry will focus on public authorities, who have a legal obligation to remove any real or perceived barriers to employment faced by people due to their race, and investigate what measures they are taking to increase employment, training and progression opportunities for minority ethnic communities.”

As part of its inquiry, the committee is keen to hear from individuals, community groups, and any minority ethnic employment and training projects, as well as public sector and private sector employers.

The closing date for responses to the call for views is Friday 17 April 2020.