Publication - Impact assessment

Making Scotland's future - a recovery plan for manufacturing: equality impact assessment

Published: 3 Jun 2021

Considers the impact on people who share one or more of the nine protected characteristics specified in the Equality Act 2010, taking account of the requirements of the public sector equality duty.

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Contents
Making Scotland's future - a recovery plan for manufacturing: equality impact assessment
Evidence of Findings

24 page PDF

270.0 kB

Evidence of Findings

The headline data, engagement and information gathered to underpin this results EQIA includes:

Age

Evidence indicates that the manufacturing workforce is comparatively older than that of people in employment generally and so any intervention aimed at the manufacturing sector is likely to affect older people proportionately more than younger people. 36.5% of the manufacturing workforce are aged 50+, compared with 33% of the Scottish workforce as a whole and 67.4% of the manufacturing workforce were aged 35+ compared to 64.9% of Scotland's overall workforce.

People are working and living longer and the future workforce is likely to be an older workforce. Many older people want to reduce their hours prior to retirement. Only 1 in 10 people work part time in the manufacturing sector, this would indicate that there is a lack of part time or flexible working that older workers are looking for. Increased part time and flexible working opportunities will allow older workers to remain in the workplace longer, and reduce the risk of increased fatalities at work, which increases with an older workforce.

Increased flexible working or part time opportunities may help mitigate the risk of a future skills gap in the manufacturing sector, allowing older workers to remain in work to train the future generation of workers.

Disability

Evidence shows that 25.6% of workers in the manufacturing sector have a medical condition or illness lasting more than 12 months with 11.6% having such a condition which was classed as respiratory, cardiovascular, or diabetes related or related to a progressive long term illness. The number of disabled people employed in the sector is less than the national average of disabled people in employment.

There is insufficient evidence to show the barriers to employment in the manufacturing sector for disabled people. However, EqIA consultation response suggested that a lack of flexible working could be a barrier to people with a disability who may find it difficult to work 5 days per week or long days.

The disproportionately low numbers of disabled people who work in the sector could indicate that there is a risk that the manufacturing sector is not a career choice for talented disabled people, or that they are experiencing multiple barriers to employment in the sector, such as physical barriers, including being unable to safely operate tools, equipment and machinery that has been designed for the average male.

Sex

Evidence suggests that there is a significant gender imbalance in manufacturing with 76.6% of the manufacturing workforce being men with only 23.4% women. This is significantly lower than for Scotland as a whole - where 48.8% of the workforce are women.

Whilst 70% of young women show an interest in a career in STEM, up to the end of Q3 2020/21, no women apprentices were recruited in general manufacturing, and just 46 out of 733 apprentices recruited in Engineering and Energy were women.

Women are more likely to be in non-manufacturing specific associate professional roles such as accounting, finance and IT. Men are more likely to be working in manufacturing engineering professional occupations. This is reflective of the wider labour market, where skilled trades are male dominated, while women are concentrated in administrative, sales and customer service roles.

Women are over represented in routine-level work, with over 1/3 of women working in production or elementary roles, and are concentrated in food and drink, textiles, machine and equipment and chemical production manufacturing. Women are scarcely represented in maintenance works, engineering technicians, chemical activities, goods handling and storage.

The Scottish manufacturing sector gender pay gap is 14.1%, compared with 3% in Scotland overall.

The disproportionately low numbers of women who work in the sector could indicate that there is a risk that the manufacturing sector is not a career choice for talented women, or that they are also experiencing physical barriers, such as being unable to safely operate tools, equipment and machinery that has been designed for the average male.

This would indicate that any intervention in the manufacturing sector will disproportionately affect men. It also may be indicative that there is a lack of opportunity for women in the sector and this could be addressed in the implementation of the proposed actions.

Women are much more likely to work part time than men. Part time working tends to be higher in non-manufacturing specific occupations. The response to our consultation on the draft EQIA suggested that this could have a bearing on the observed lower amount of women in leadership positions due to a perception that senior roles can only be held by those working full time.

Increased flexible working practices and more part time employment in the sector will provide the opportunities that both men and women require to balance caring responsibilities with work, make careers in manufacturing more attractive to women and help address the gender imbalance and gender pay gap that exists in the manufacturing sector.

Pregnancy and Maternity

6.9% of employees in the manufacturing sector are women with dependent children (aged 0-16) compared with 15.4% of the Scottish workforce as a whole.

Increased flexible working practices and more part time employment in the sector will provide the opportunities that women pursuing a career in STEM require to return to work following pregnancy and maternity, make careers in manufacturing more attractive to women and help address the gender imbalance and gender pay gap that exists in the manufacturing sector, and which is exacerbated by the "career break penalty" for women who have taken time off to care for children.

It is worth noting that men are increasingly taking extended periods of paternity leave, which risks impacting on their ability to return to their previous role, or have a longer term impact on career opportunities and increase the pay gap between men in the same role. These men are as likely to benefit from flexible and part time working opportunities.

Race

Census data shows that 98.51% of employees in manufacturing identify as White compared with 96.73% of employees in the Scottish workforce overall.[24]

8.19% of people with a White background who are employed in Scotland are employed in the manufacturing sector. This compares with only 3.29% of people with an Asian background, 5.59% of those with a Black Caribbean background, 3.8% of those with a Black African background, 4.5% of those with a mixed background and 5.41% of those with a different ethnic background.

There is insufficient evidence to show the barriers to employment in the manufacturing sector for ethnic minority people. However, the disproportionately low numbers of ethnic minority people who work in the sector would indicate that there is a risk that the manufacturing sector is not a career choice for talented ethnic minority people, or that they are experiencing multiple barriers to employment in the sector, such as:

  • individual expectations and aspirations - studies show ethnic minority individuals are as ambitious, if not more, than white counterparts;
  • human capital, such as training, education and skills relevant to job performance;
  • lack of language skills - individuals can face a linguistic penalty in job interviews where there are hidden potential employer expectations to talk in certain ways which can be mismatched with cultural expectations;
  • geographical location (many ethnic minorities live in areas with high unemployment and lack of mobility)
  • lack of social relations and networks - a lack of role models;
  • lack of access to integration policies;
  • cultural preferences and barriers - studies show that minority ethnic students are more likely to aspire to social and enterprising careers and career preference can vary by ethnicity;
  • direct discrimination (positive or negative) by employers or co-workers
  • indirect discrimination - ethnic minorities are often unaware of unconscious bias towards against them, which hampers their job searches.

Religion or belief

Census data shows that the percentage of people working in manufacturing who identify as Christian is slightly higher than in the Scottish workforce overall with 53.56% of manufacturing workers identifying as Christian versus 52.05% in the overall workforce. Among workers identifying as Christian the percentage identifying as Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic is slightly higher than for Scottish workers as a whole (32.23% versus 30.56% and 17.21% versus 16.15% respectively) while numbers for other Christian denominations are slightly lower (4.12% versus 5.34%).[25]

The percentage of workers in manufacturing belonging to non-Christian faiths is lower across the board with 0.16% of the workforce identifying as Buddhist versus 0.25% overall, 0.16% identifying as Hindu versus 0.34% overall, 0.07% identifying as Jewish versus 0.11% overall, 0.41% identifying as Muslim versus 1.04% overall and 0.07% identifying as Sikh versus 0.17% overall.

0.2% of manufacturing workers belong to other, not listed, faiths which compares to 0.33% overall. 38.85% of manufacturing workers report that they belong to no faith group compared to 39.44% in Scotland's overall workforce and 6.51% did not state any response in the census compared with 6.28% in the overall workforce.

There is no evidence to suggest that this group of people have any differential barriers to employment in the sector from other groups. However, there is the potential that flexible working could allow this group more flexibility for religious observance.

Gender Reassignment / Sexual orientation / Marriage and Civil Partnership

The EQIA process has not identified evidence to suggest that there are significant differential barriers to these groups. This does not mean that no such barriers exist and consideration has been given when designing the plan to whether the actions can be implemented in such a way as to address any issues which may become apparent affecting people in these groups.


Contact

Email: MIDAMP@gov.scot