UK Government

Department for Work And Pensions: Ethnic minority advisory group invites applications for membership

Press Release   •   Jan 18, 2010 11:21 GMT

Those wanting to make a difference to the employment opportunities of ethnic minorities and influence Government policy are being urged to apply for membership of the Ethnic Minority Advisory Group (EMAG).

Whilst the ethnic minority employment gap has narrowed over recent years, it still stands at 13.8 percentage points and recent research shows that racial discrimination still exists in recruitment practices.2, 3.

EMAG provides advice to the Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force4 on what is likely to work best for ethnic minority communities.  It reviews planned initiatives to ensure they have the best chance of success, makes recommendations on new initiatives that Government could take forward and examines existing policies to advise if they are working as intended.

Applicants are being sought from various sectors including education, voluntary and community groups, training providers, faith groups and employers, to provide a valuable source of advice and guidance based on their experiences.

Membership of EMAG is voluntary and unpaid.  The group meets quarterly, usually in London.  However, representatives from across the country are urged to apply with the option of meetings taking place in other areas or via a new virtual network.

The closing date for applications is Friday 26 February 2010.  For further details on how to apply and the application form please visit:  http://www.emetaskforce.gov.uk/index.asp or telephone Christine Wright on 020 7449 5630.

Notes to editors

1. Whilst the ethnic minority employment gap has narrowed over recent years, it still stands at 13.8 percentage points - Labour Force Survey, Quarter 3 2009

2. The recent research shows that racial discrimination still exists in recruitment practices – the study showed discrimination occurred for those applying for jobs with a name suggesting they were from an ethnic minority, rather than white British. For every nine applications sent by a white applicant, an equally good applicant with an ethnic minority name had to send sixteen to obtain a positive response.

3. The research was carried out by the National Centre for Social Research.  Three very similar applications to actual vacancies were submitted across a particular set of occupations and areas between November 2008 and May 2009. One of the three had a white British name with the other two were from different ethnic minority groups. Names were randomly assigned to different applications. All the applications contained British education and work histories.  Three applications were sent to 987 advertised job vacancies giving a total of 2,961 applications. Applications were made to private, public and voluntary sector employers of varying sizes. Discrimination was measured as differential treatment at an aggregate level between the ethnic groups in the study.

4. The EMETF was formed on the back of the Prime Ministers Strategy Unit report in March 2003, which examined a range of factors influencing the labour market achievement of ethnic minority people, and set out three specific categories of policy measures to address the many barriers to success in employment:
- Action to improve employability by raising levels of educational attainment and skills;
- Action to connect people with work by reforming existing employment programmes, tackling specific barriers to work in deprived areas, and promoting self-employment; and
- Action to promote equal opportunities in the workplace through better advice and support to employers, and through more effective use of levers such as public procurement.

The report also recommended the creation of a Ministerial Task Force, chaired by the Minister for Work, to oversee the implementation of the SU recommendations and ensure that they are fully embedded into the cross-Whitehall ethnic minority strategy.
The Task Force, which meets on a quarterly basis, comprises Ministers from the eight key departments tasked with taking forward the strategy, together with representatives from other public bodies and the private sector.

Contacts

NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk