Annex G: Wider public sector work
Through our Race Equality Framework for Scotland (REF) we aim to create a fair and equal nation, tackling institutional and systemic racism to ensure we improve outcomes for our minority communities, including our Muslim communities. As part of the commitment to continued implementation of the REF, we will soon publish an Immediate Priorities Plan for race equality, setting out the actions being taken by the Scottish Government on race equality for the 18-month period from July 2021 to December 2022. This plan also aims to fully implement the data and systemic recommendations of the Expert Reference Group for COVID-19 and Ethnicity, as agreed to by the Scottish Government in November 2020.
A key priority for the Scottish Government is to initiate, run and complete development of a long-term, multi-year anti-racist plan to implement the Race Equality Framework over the years following the conclusion of the Immediate Priorities Plan. We are currently working to develop a deeper understanding of how systemic racism creates racial inequality, to inform longer-term systemic change.
Creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces is a key theme in the Fair Work Action Plan. Fair Work applies to all groups of society and aims to ensure those with protected characteristics can access and progress in work and enjoy the benefits from working, as others do. Our Fair Work First approach asks employers to commit to fair work criteria, including action to tackle the gender pay gap and create more diverse and inclusive workplaces.
We published a Minority Ethnic Recruitment toolkit at the end of September 2020. The toolkit draws on effective practice identified and aims to support employers to improve the recruitment of minority ethnic people. The toolkit refers to diverse recruitment panels and name blind sifting of applications as some of the approaches that employers can take. An evaluation of the toolkit will be conducted later this year.
Recently in March we held the Public Sector Leadership Summit on Race Equality in Employment in response to the Equalities and Human Rights Committee report: Race Equality, Employment and Skills: Making Progress? The Summit unveiled a joint commitment which pledges the Scottish Government and public sector leaders to take action to tackle racial inequality in the workplace. As part of our post-Summit work we are engaging with key sectors to discuss organisations' progress again the joint commitment as well as recruitment and retention practices, and the gathering and application of ethnicity workforce data. This work will take an intersectional approach and help organisations identify and tackle compounded barriers on account of ethnicity and other protected characteristics, including religion.
The John Smith Centre
A new development programme aimed to remove barriers that can be faced by minority ethnic people moving into leadership positions in society will be delivered by the John Smith Centre.
Up to 50 people will benefit from a nine-month professional and personal development programme backed by mentoring, and living wage placements across the public, third and private sectors.
The programme will focus on young people, and will be delivered by the John Smith Centre, backed up by £470,000 of Scottish Government funding. The programme will focus on developing the professional and personal skills of participants, including negotiating and communication.