Lantra Skills Matching Service: equality impact assessment

Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) for the Lantra Skills Matching Service, established during COVID-19 to help provide emergency labour and work opportunities in the animal welfare and land-based industries in Scotland.

Stage 4: Decision making and monitoring

Identifying and establishing any required mitigating action

Have positive or negative impacts been identified for any of the equality groups?

There is no negative discrimination, but there is positive impact through the increased diversity in applications, through the reduced potential for unconscious (or conscious) bias during the initial screening phase.

Is the policy directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010[7]?


If the policy is indirectly discriminatory, how is it justified under the relevant legislation?


If not justified, what mitigating action will be undertaken?


Describing how Equality Impact analysis has shaped the policy making process

Undertaking this impact analysis has been a very useful exercise. This is a rapidly developing project and it is helpful to stop to think about the wider implications of what is intended to be a rapid 'tool' to help a sector that could be negatively impacted by COVID-19 infections and/or the associated travel restrictions.

The EQIA process has helped us particularly to consider the accessibility of information to those with various disabilities, and to widen the means of communications used both to promote and to use the service. This will lead to better outcomes for disabled people in accessing employment opportunities. The recommendation of candidates on the basis of skills and experience only, will lead to better outcomes for other groups as well, including women and ethnic minorities, who are traditionally not well represented in the agricultural industry. This increase in diversity will improve outcomes for rural communities and foster good relations between individuals across the protected characteristics.

Moreover, the importance of increasing the openness of vacancies and the means used to advertise them, has been emphasised. Recruitment through 'word of mouth' (less possible during COVID, but previously the norm in many land based businesses), discriminates by reducing the pool from which candidates can be selected. Rural communities will benefit from a widening of the labour pool, as this ensures those with the strongest skills will be recruited.

This analysis has indicated that an open and transparent system that goes beyond the current restrictions is important, but that this would need to be developed in partnership with those representing the sector, so that it is not seen as a 'hurdle', but rather support in ensuring they are able to attract the right people with the right skills.

When the restrictions ease and there is an opportunity to 'take stock', Lantra should produce a report regarding the 'numbers' of who applied for the SMS, the vacancies listed with them, and an analysis of the successful matches, to ensure that learning can be effectively applied to any longer term solution.

Carrying out the EQIA has also emphasised some of the gaps in our data relating to protected characteristics of those working within Scottish agriculture. These gaps require to be addressed and we will work with colleagues in our RESAS division to ensure that going forward, we do collect data on factors such as ethnicity, disability, sexuality etc.

Monitoring and Review

A report on the above should be made available by Lantra by the end of August. This report will provide data from the employers and employees who used the service, to evaluate their experiences and how successful the matching service has been. This data should be analysed in terms of the protected characteristics (as far as the data collected will allow) in order to ascertain whether more could be done to increase the diversity of those using the service. Any further development of the skills matching service (e.g.: potentially as part of the ongoing civtech project to build a Rural Skills Hub) should use the evidence gathered in this EQIA and in the report, to ensure that those elements that could not be incorporated in the first phase (e.g.: translations in other languages, BSL) are fully considered and implemented where possible.



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