Race equality action plan: final report

Progress made on the actions in the Race Equality Action Plan 2017 to 2021 and action taken to tackle race inequality in response to the 2020 to 2021 COVID-19 pandemic as well as action from 2021 onwards to implement the aims of the Race Equality Framework 2016-2030.

5. Reviewing Progress during the Lifetime of the REAP – overview and case studies

The primary purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive picture of the progress made against every action in the Race Equality Action Plan (REAP). This is to ensure that we are transparent about our challenges, as well as our successes, and can be clear about our priorities, and the improvements we can make to achieve them, as we draw the REAP to a close and move on to next steps.

In our report on the work of Year 2 of the REAP we recognised that in order to shift the barometer on race equality over the final year of the REAP, we needed to identify and focus on the actions which will deliver genuine improvements, while still working hard to ensure our processes and structures are capable of delivering equality in a systematic and sustained way.

The complete list of the REAP's 120 actions, along with an update on the progress to achieve them, is at Annexes A-I of this report. The Annexes are structured around the nine sections of the REAP:

While reporting on the REAP is the primary purpose, it's also clear that there have been significant changes in the landscape since the original formulation of the REAP, not least of which have been in response to the UK's Exit from the European Union and the COVID-19 pandemic. Actions were also developed in response to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, which cast racial inequality into sharp relief.

Some of this work, conceived in response to the momentous and changing events of the last few years, are reflected in our case studies below, which reflect both our response work as well as our work on the actions identified in the REAP.

Much has undoubtedly changed over the course of this year, which has been like no other. This has not diminished the importance of our chosen focus on the themes identified in last year's report. These will help us move closer to the long-term vision in the Race Equality Framework (2016-2030) (See Section 3). These themes are:

1. Overarching work

2. Community cohesion and safety

3. Participation and representation

4. Education and lifelong learning

5. Employability, employment and income

6. Health and home

All five of these themes feed into the REF's overarching vision for race equality in Scotland.

Our vision for a fairer Scotland is that by 2030 Scotland is a place where people are healthier, happier and treated with respect, and where opportunities, wealth and power are spread more equally.

The Race Equality Framework aims to ensure that this vision is achieved equally for people from all ethnicities, helping to build a Scotland where we all share a common sense of purpose and belonging.

Strategic areas of work including policy and planning should provide the foundation for promoting race equality within the work of the Scottish Government and other public bodies. Making progress in these areas is essential in order to achieve the overarching vision set out here. The success of many of the visions for specific policy areas set out later in the Framework depends on having the right strategic environment.

1. Overarching work and our response to COVID-19

Taking into account the intersectional nature of inequality in Scotland, many of our actions on tackling racial inequality have cut across a variety of areas within our work. In no place has the need for cross-cutting nature of equality work been more starkly illustrated than in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Detailed information on our overarching work can be found in Annex I.

Case Study 1: Expert Reference Group on COVID-19 and Ethnicity

Early in the COVID-19 crisis, evidence emerged at UK and international level that suggested some minority ethnic groups may be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, both in terms of immediate, adverse health outcomes and in a wider context, including economically. As a response to this, the Scottish Government convened an Expert Reference Group on COVID-19 and Ethnicity (the ERG) in June, with a remit to consider, inform and contribute to the Scottish Government's emerging approach, and to advise on proposed actions to mitigate the harms felt by minority ethnic people and communities in relation to COVID-19.

The ERG's membership was drawn from across academia, health, data, and third sector areas of expertise, as well as involving key officials from the Scottish Government and its agencies.

The ERG was created at pace, with the need for swift, meaningful action as its core purpose. As the pandemic continued, it became clear that the impacts on some minority ethnic groups were exacerbated by pre-existing inequalities, and the ERG's response would need to address those deeper causes alongside the immediate health considerations. As a result, the ERG divided its work into two strands, focussing on data, evidence & risk, and systemic inequality. Those dual strands formed the basis for the group's recommendations to the Scottish Government, which were published in August 2020.

The Scottish Government's initial response to the ERG's recommendations was published in November. This is not intended to be a final word, but a further step towards realising the ambitions set out by the ERG. Further to this, the Scottish Government has presented the ERG with a timeline for the implementation of these recommendations over the coming months as we recover from the pandemic. The ERG's contributions through their recommendations are forming part of the basis of our ongoing race equality work after the conclusion of the REAP (see Section 6).

Some of the ERG's recommendations are already reflected in the 2020-21 Programme for Government, published in August. These are that we will: look closely at undertaking a review of our past and current initiatives to tackle systemic racism; make ethnicity a mandatory field for health databases; develop a linkage to the census, and; embed the process of ethnicity data collection in the culture of the NHS in Scotland.

The work already done by the ERG has played a vital role in shaping not only the Scottish Government response to COVID-19, but also our longer-term work to advance race equality. Its recommendations, including around tackling systemic racism and ensuring meaningful progress towards our goals, have been key in developing our next steps towards the commitments set out in the Race Equality Framework.

2. Community Cohesion and Safety

As set out in the Race Equality Framework, our vision for 2030 is that we build good race relations and community cohesion across all communities, and all minority ethnic individuals feel safe, protected and included, and experience less racism.

The Scottish Government is clear that, as a nation, we are made stronger and better by diversity of culture, background, and perspective brought by our minority ethnic communities, including New Scots. We have a responsibility to ensure that everyone lives a life free from harassment and discrimination, and feels safe and supported in their communities. The work progressed under this strand is about realising these core rights, and advancing inclusion across Scotland.

Detailed information on our work on Community Cohesion and Safety can be found in Annex F.

Case Study 2 – Hate Crime Bill

Following Lord Bracadale's Independent Review and our subsequent public consultation on its recommendations, the Scottish Government introduced the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill on 23 April 2020. This Bill provides for the modernising, consolidating and extending of hate crime legislation in Scotland. Legislation in this area has evolved over time in a fragmented manner with the result that different elements of hate crime law are located in different statutes, there is a lack of consistency, and the relevant legislation is not as user-friendly as it could be. The new hate crime legislation will provide greater clarity, transparency and consistency.

The Scottish Government continues to engage with race equality stakeholders and minority ethnic communities on the Bill. Since introduction, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice has met with a range of race equality stakeholders and minority ethnic communities to discuss the impact the Bill's provisions will have. Most recently, the Cabinet Secretary presented on the Bill to the Scottish Parliament's Cross-Party Group on Racial Equality.

With regards to race and race-related hate crime in the Bill, the Scottish Government has pursued a unique approach from the Bill's other characteristics. The Scottish Government is of the view that, due to the historical and structural nature of racism, the prevalence and seriousness of race hate crime and the impact that this has on community cohesion, a separate approach is justified.

Further information on the Bill, including the Scottish Government's policy rationale, can be found here https://beta.parliament.scot/bills/hate-crime-and-public-order-scotland-bill. The Bill passed the parliamentary process on 11 March.

Case Study 3 – Our response to the Dame Eilish Angiolini Report

In 2018, the Scottish Government and Crown Office commissioned the Rt. Hon Dame Elish Angiolini, DBE QC, to undertake an independent review of complaints handling, investigations and misconduct in relation to policing in Scotland. The aim was to bring greater fairness, transparency, accountability and proportionality, to ensure that all parties are treated justly in any such circumstances.

Dame Elish published her final report in November 2020, containing 81 recommendations for improvements across the system, including several on the theme of equality and diversity. In February 2021, Ministers published their response to Dame Elish's report, re-stating their commitment to the vision, as set out in the Race Equality Framework for Scotland, for a fairer Scotland where people are healthier, happier and treated with respect and where opportunities, wealth and power are spread more equally. Eliminating discrimination is critical to ensuring we have a fair and equal justice system, and this report indicates that in the police service - as in the wider community - attitudes have not necessarily changed as much as we like to believe.

There is strong commitment from both Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority to address the diversity, equality and inclusion recommendations in the report, and also from the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, all of whom are part of the system. Work to commission an independent review of equality matters (recommendation 18) is being taken forward as a priority. All involved recognise the need to be clear on outcomes, and to have metrics in place to capture and measure progress.

While acknowledging the roles of key partners, Scottish Government is active in supporting this work, recognising equality and diversity as an issue which affects the whole justice system. There are links with other areas of work ongoing, including the two Cross Justice Working Groups. While the focus of the two working groups is on race equality and extends beyond policing, we will explore opportunities for shared learning and collaborative working towards common goals.

Ministers have committed to publishing updates three times a year to show progress made against Dame Elish's recommendations, with Equality and Diversity as one of nine organising themes.

The collective ambition of all partners is to address the challenging findings in this review and go further - to act as an accelerant to drive wider change.

Case Study 4 – Data, Race & Justice

It is vital that we look across the whole system to understand the perspective and differential experiences for minority ethnic groups and work to develop evidence-based solutions to address the issues. The Scottish Government's Justice Board, which brings together partners from across the justice system, considered a paper on 16 July 2020 and accepted the proposal to establish the two working groups:

  • the Cross Justice System Race Data and Evidence Group (established 14 October 2020) is working to improve both the collection and reporting of race data and evidence on people's interactions with the justice system; and
  • the Cross Justice Working Group on Race and Workforce (established 26 October 2020) is reviewing the diversity of those who work within Scotland's Justice sector to assess the extent to which opportunities are spread equally

The two groups are running concurrently and clear links have been established to ensure that evidence generated from both groups is shared and considered to support the delivery of their aims.

Both groups report into the Justice Board. This is the forum responsible for leadership of the Justice sector in Scotland.

As an outcome of the Cross Justice Working Group on Race and Workforce, new standards or harmonization of existing standards across the Justice system on employability practices for Minority Ethnic individuals. In addition, a mapping of the current infrastructure (tools, technologies, services, approaches or other vehicles) has been conducted which can be utilised to help improve upon current practice and supports/focuses on data sharing, exchange, interoperability and usability across the Justice system.

There has been developed an improved understanding of the barriers to Minority Ethnic individuals in recruitment, retention, promotion and leadership to Justice organisations and new or developed policies are introduced to respond to these. The group has overseen an increase in the number of applicants and employees at all levels of an organisation, who choose to disclose their ethnicity, across the Justice system. Overall, the Justice system, and each organisation within it, is more representative of the communities they serve.

3. Participation and Representation

Our vision for 2030 is that minority ethnic participation and representation is valued, effective, fair and proportionate at all levels of political, community and public life.

As with Community Cohesion and Safety, enhancing participation and representation for minority ethnic people and communities is at the heart of a better, fairer, more inclusive Scotland for all. Ensuring that individuals and communities have their voices heard and their needs recognised is the key responsibility of Government, and for minority ethnic people this means ensuring that we remove the obstacles to full participation in public life at local and national level, including in relation to diversity in public appointments.

Participation and representation also extends to culture, and Scotland's civic and creative life. Museums and our built environment have been a focus for significant public interest in recent years, along with the need to ensure that people see themselves reflected in artistic, cultural and civic decision-making.

Detailed information on our work on Participation and Representation can be found in Annex G.

Case Study 5: Public Appointments

Through the Race Equality Action Plan for Public Appointments we want to do more to encourage people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to apply for public appointments, for those applications to be successful in a fair, transparent and merit-based system, and for the conditions to be right for people to be able to give their best when they are on a board.

We have worked to raise the profile of current appointees from minority ethnic backgrounds and to improve our outreach and engagement activity with people from minority ethnic backgrounds. This year we will work to build the pipeline of talent to boards by offering shadowing and mentoring to people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. Targets for public appointments, including targets for applications by protected characteristic, are set by our regulator, the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

We are seeing improvements in the appointment rate for minority ethnic people. In 2019, 6% of new appointments made were to people from minority ethnic backgrounds was up from 4% in 2018 and 2% in 2017.

Overall 3.5% of appointees are from a minority ethnic background and we expect that this figure will continue to improve.

People from minority ethnic backgrounds remain still underrepresented on the boards of public bodies. In order to identify ways to tackle this, targeted outreach and engagement has been undertaken.

As part of the ongoing advertising of public appointments vacancies, organisations representing people from a black and minority ethnic background are notified of every public appointment vacancy posted on the public appointments website (Appointed for Scotland website).

For NHS public appointments we agreed in December 2020 that individual non-executive recruitments for 2021 will be conducted as one recruitment exercise, as part of a more inclusive recruitment approach. This includes an amended application process, more diverse recruitment panels, alternative publicity strategy and more inclusive assessment methods. At the same time, we are piloting alternative approaches in 2021 for some of our Non-Executive Member senior appointment rounds. The pilots will also look at aspects of the process including applicant feedback, and collecting equality data. We will then use the learning from these rounds to implement the changes and will work to continuously improve the appointment process.

The new National Minority Ethnic Network for NHS Scotland will also focus on senior appointments within the NHS, both non-executive and executive. These can have complex processes and psychological assessment exercises that have the potential to disadvantage prospective minority ethnic candidates.

The Network will provide qualitative data from minority ethnic applicants to provide new insight into these complex barriers. Over the next 18 months we will then work with recruitment agencies, to whom such campaigns are often outsourced, to put together practical and creative solutions to address these barriers.

Case Study 6 – Museums

We are developing a series of proposals to recognise Scotland's ties to the historic slave trade and empire. Those who came to Scotland through the slave trade and empire and their descendants have made an indelible contribution to our country that should be recognised.

That is why Culture, Tourism and Major Events Directorate are partnering with Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS), in collaboration with race equality and museums sector stakeholders, to sponsor an independent expert group to recommend how Scotland's existing and future museum collections can better recognise and represent a more accurate portrayal of Scotland's colonial and slavery history.

We expect the discussions held by the expert group to include the following topics;

  • Collections – There is a necessity to re-evaluate current collections and revise cataloguing, as well as to consider the evaluation of new collections/artefacts.
  • Interpretation - the interpretation and perspectives that we use to view history should reflect the full diversity of Scotland's population, and whether we can better use museum collections across Scotland to explore the history, legacies, and impacts of slavery and colonialism. Recommendations for best practice whilst recognising the variety of resource levels available across the sector can also be explored.
  • Human Resource – There is a need for, and focus of, training across the sector, including for volunteers and board members.
  • Education/Outreach – We can invite suggested methods to drive engagement with educational stakeholders, as well as how to maximise the extent of links to the curriculum and national standards.
  • Museum of Slavery proposal - The delivery model most appropriate to ensure the Scottish Government commitment to anti-racism is clear and communicated well. Also for consideration is the best mechanism of delivery of our shared past to the full diversity of the Scottish population without racial, gender-based, or geographical bias.

We expect high-level recommendations in these areas to be delivered to Scottish Government by the end of November 2021.

4. Education and Lifelong Learning

Our vision for 2030 is that everyone has the opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment without disadvantage in relation to racism and racial inequality.

The Scottish Government's ambition is for Scotland to be the best place to grow up, and for everyone to have the opportunity to learn in an inclusive, equal environment. Ensuring that minority ethnic children and young people are able to realise their potential without facing barriers or disadvantage is crucial to building a fairer future for Scotland. Our work towards realising positive outcomes for all children is underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and our Curriculum for Excellence and Getting It Right for Every Child initiatives support an inclusive, rights-focussed learning environment, providing a supportive framework for the work taken forwards under REF and REAP.

Detailed information on our work on Education and Lifelong Learning can be found in Annex B.

Case Study 7 – Black Lives Matter in Scotland's Education System

The Black Lives Matter movement has provided a significant platform for people and organisations to campaign for change and progress on race equality. In Scotland, education has been a particular focus for interest in this context, and a campaign stemming from BLM raised a number of issues with the Scottish Government's Learning Directorate.

In order to better understand how these issues need to be tackled, the Learning Directorate, in conjunction with the Equality Unit and Education Scotland, have carried out a number of engagement sessions with race equality and education stakeholders, minority ethnic groups and individuals and young people. Some of those sessions have been with Ministers in order that they get to directly hear the voices of people, particularly young people, who have experienced racism in the education system.

These engagement sessions have been the catalyst for a new programme of work, which is now underway to help focus our efforts and make progress in this area. The programme will focus on 4 key areas – all intrinsically linked:

i. curriculum reform

ii. diversity in the teaching profession

iii racism and racist bullying

iv professional learning and leadership

Throughout the lifetime of this programme, engagement with minority ethnic groups and individuals, including young people, will continue in order that solutions and actions can be identified in collaboration. This will be facilitated by a newly established stakeholder network group, consisting of race equality and education stakeholders, which will oversee the development of measures and actions to address persistent race inequality in education

We know that tackling the education system in isolation is short sighted, and we will therefore align any emerging actions with the ambitions of the next iteration of the Scottish Government's Race Equality Action Plan (REAP) as it continues to develop. This will ensure that any actions we develop dovetail with the Scottish Government's overarching ambitions on race equality.

Similarly, this programme will also align with work being taken forward by the Human Rights Taskforce, the integration of UNCRC in to Scots Law and the recommendations made by the COVID Expert Group on Ethnicity to ensure consistency and optimum delivery of outcomes.

Case Study 8 – Gypsy/Travellers: Supporting Flexible Learning

At the start of the pandemic, our ability to adapt our education system to the needs of home working was paramount. The beginning of the first lockdown highlighted the disparity in digital access between the Gypsy/Traveller and settled communities. Many G/T had to contend with unreliable or non-existent internet access, while others had no devices at home to use for distance learning at all. We worked closely with both the Scottish Traveller Education Programme (STEP) and Article 12 to mitigate these problems. Both of these third sector partners rolled out programmes of supported learning by distributing tablets and iPads, as well as MiFi routers and top up cards, to Gypsy/Traveller families. Between them, 137 children from 81 families, (approximately 2/3 girls, 1/3 boys) were provided with equipment for distance learning. This not only allowed young people to continue with their education, it also provided much needed digital access for older family members for things such as job hunting, online grocery ordering as well as vital information about Government guidance during the pandemic. These projects have prevented many from falling out of touch with their schooling, and helped families keep safe during the pandemic by minimising the amount of time they need to spend leaving their homes. It is hoped that the high success rate these programmes have had will help to shape future distance and blended learning projects that could benefit nomadically-living young people in the future

Case Study 9 - Diversity in the Teaching Profession

Following the publication in 2018 of

Teaching in a diverse Scotland: increasing and retaining minority ethnic teachers - gov.scot (www.gov.scot), the Diversity in the Teaching Profession (DiTP) Working Group was asked to reconvene by the Strategic Board for Teacher Education (SBTE), to take forward the report's recommendations and help increase the number of minority ethnic teachers, at all levels, in Scotland's schools.

Steps have been taken to create the conditions for change however it should be noted that many of the report's recommendations will take time to come to fruition (e.g. some teacher education programmes take 4 years to complete).

The group, made up of stakeholders from across the Education Sector, including Higher Education, Race Equality organisations and teacher unions, has met 7 times since the report's publication. It is due to conclude in its current form this spring when Professor Arshad CBE, the chair of the group, will publish a final report

There have been notable achievements including:

  • All Teacher Leadership programmes in Scotland offered via Education Scotland (ES) now include explicit information about how everyday racism occurs within schools and education settings, helping to improve the racial literacy of those working at the most senior leadership roles.
  • A revised version of the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS) Professional Standards now leads with a section called 'Being a teacher in Scotland' which places the professional values of social justice as being at the heart of what it means to be a teacher.
  • The Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators (SAMEE) Leadership and Mentoring Programme has been endorsed by Education Scotland. This programme is now offered to minority ethnic probationers, newly qualified and established teachers across Scotland.
  • An annual process of collecting data has been established which will; capture diversity in the teaching profession in order to be able to inform future work and; measure and evaluate increases in the number of minority ethnic teachers in Scotland's schools. As a result, a new annual report is in development, which will draw together Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and Teacher Census data, which can be shared with the Strategic Board for Teacher Education, Scottish Council for Deans of Education and other influential groups, to inform on progress and keep the issue live.

As well as the achievements, the final report is likely to outline the challenges faced in implementing the recommendations, and set out the long-term ambitions which still remain, in order to achieve a teaching profession which reflects the diversity of Scotland's population by 2030.

This work remains a key priority for the Scottish Government, as reflected in the most recent Programme for Government Commitment. The PfG commitment commits to ensuring that the diversity of Scottish society is recognised and represented in the education workforce, at all levels, in line with the ambitions of the Race Equality Framework.

Increasing the diversity of the teaching profession has also been identified as one of the key workstreams of a new programme of Race Equality in Education work (outlined in Case Study 4). Professor Arshad's report and associated working group have helped create the conditions for change and our commitment to the continuation of these ambitions, as part of the new programme, will result in increased numbers of minority ethnic teachers, at all level in Scotland's schools.

As detailed in full in our updated report of 19 March 2021 on diversity in the teaching profession, between 2022 and 2030 we aim to achieve this greater diversity through recruiting 200 new minority ethnic teachers every year, with a target of 1,600 new minority ethnic teachers by the end of the decade.

5. Employability, Employment and Income

Our vision for 2030 is that minority ethnic people have equal, fair and proportionate access to employment and representation at all levels, grades and occupation types in Scotland's workforce and experience fewer labour market, workplace and income inequalities.

In common with our Participation and Representation goals, the removal of obstacles to inclusion is key in achieving workplace equality. We know that further action must still be taken to eliminate workplace discrimination, and achieve parity in employment rates, pay, and experiences. As a significant public sector employer, the Scottish Government also has a role to play in terms of setting a strong example to others, and ensuring that our own policies and processes are fit for purpose.

Following the conclusion of Year 1 work, it was agreed that Employment would be an area of particular focus for Year 3 work on race equality. This focus was continued following our Year 2 report.

Year 3 of the Action Plan has seen a range of activity related to race equality in employment including the Equalities and Human Rights Committee inquiry on race equality, employment and skills. The focus of their inquiry was to look at what positive actions public authorities have taken to improve employment practice towards minority ethnic communities in response to the Race Equality Framework for Scotland 2016-2030, and what more can be done to deliver further progress. Its report published in November 2020, came with a series of recommendations for public authorities. The Scottish Government has committed to a Public Sector Leadership Summit on Race Equality in Employment, the development of positive action guidance and the development of a race equality in the workplace training framework. This will be held on 23 March 2021.

We spent Year 3 developing a Minority Ethnic Recruitment Toolkit drawing on a range of practice that was shared by employers to develop key considerations around recruitment. The toolkit aims to support employers to improve the recruitment of minority ethnic people. It gives advice on the importance and use of workforce data to help determine approaches for recruitment campaigns when looking to improve recruitment of minority ethnic groups into the workforce. The toolkit is being embedded in Fair Work policy with reference to the resource given in the Fair Work Employer Tool and Fair Work First Guidance.

In developing the Toolkit, improvements in practice were identified and implemented at Glasgow City Council (see Case Study 13)

We have also established a small working group of public sector employers to share information and practice on recruitment. This informal group meets on a monthly basis and consists of senior leaders and HR and Equality leads. It invites input and contributions from other parts of Scottish Government including the Race Equality Staff Network, Labour Market Analysis Unit and the Diversity and Inclusion Team. Each meeting is themed and members are invited to share materials. Meetings have focussed on community engagement and marketing and branding.

We launched the 2020/21 Workplace Equality Fund in November to continue our commitment to address workplace barriers for certain priority groups including minority ethnic people. This fund has helped to deliver positive outcomes for minority ethnic people through a range of projects since it began in 2018.

In 2019 and 2020, the Fife Centre for Equalities, supported by the Workplace Equality Fund, ran a project looking to engage with minority ethnic communities specifically with regard to the employer Sky. The project looked to ascertain how those involved from minority ethnic backgrounds thought of working at Sky, what barriers were there and what might encourage them to consider applying for Sky vacancies.

This project found that simple pointers such as awareness of the family context for minority ethnic women, or the different impact of challenging client interaction may have when linked to racism, can drastically improve the long-term relationship in the workplace.

Fife Centre for Equalities' findings have been incorporated into Sky's 2021 apprenticeship programme.

Year 3 also saw the Young Women Lead parliamentary committee undertake an inquiry to investigate the transition from education to employment and what measures are being taken to increase employment opportunities for women from ethnic minorities including recruitment, retention and development policies and practices.

A range of measures to support young people moving into employment have progressed over the final year of the Action Plan. Skills Development Scotland's Equality Action Plan published in 2015 sought to improve uptake of apprenticeships by minority ethnic people. Figures show a positive trend but there is recognition that more can be done and work is underway to engage with young minority ethnic people to understand the level of awareness of apprenticeships and the reasons behind not choosing this route as a career pathway. SDS are continuing the Ethnic Intersectionality Incentive, a recruitment incentive to support entry to the MA programme for individuals from minority ethnic communities who have further barriers to entry to the MA programme.

The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture announced the launch of the Young Person's Guarantee on 5 November 2020. The £60 million Young Person's Guarantee is part of a total of £100 million for employment support and training to tackle employment challenges. £10 million of this was used to support a range of measures to recruit and retain apprentices, including additional support for Scotland's Adopt an Apprentice programme. To address the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19, the Scottish Government have committed additional investment of £125 million in the 2021/22 budget to support the Young Person's Guarantee, Employability and Skills, which apprenticeships are integral to. We worked with organisations representing young people including Intercultural Youth Scotland to develop the Phase 1 Activity Plan.

Detailed information on our work on Employability, Employment and Income can be found in Annex A.

Case study 10: STUC's Scottish Union Learning (SUL)

Scottish Government funds the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) to enable Scottish Union Learning (SUL) to support trade unions in accessing skills and lifelong learning opportunities for their members that contribute to collective prosperity, fairness and equality, for workers across Scotland. Through this, it provides £100,000 of funding for the Fair Work: Leadership and Equality Programme. This programme focuses on developing leadership and promoting equalities at all levels within trade unions. The programme supports the diversification of leadership within the trade union movement to help provide trade unionists with the skills to identify and nurture new leaders from under-represented groups within their union or increase the capacity of unions to deliver on the equalities agenda.

Women from minority ethnic backgrounds and Muslim women are extremely under-represented in trade union structures in Scotland. In 2019 one of the projects funded was the development of a coaching and mentoring programme for minority ethnic teachers with colleagues from the Scottish Association of Minority Ethnic Educators. This programme has now been delivered to over 50 participants.

In 2020, the Fund took account of the impact of the pandemic and the particular attention given to minority ethnic groups in relation to race inequality and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. There were 10 successful applications for the Fair Work: Leadership and Equality Programme for 2020/21 including:

  • YWP: Building Young Worker Confidence & Power with an aim to make 50% of attendees being Women and an increased effort at engaging with young BME workers.
  • Unite: Developing the Future Leaders of Our BAME Membership that is exclusively targeted at Unite BAME membership focusing on engaging more with women and workers from key sectors such as hospitality and health and social care.
  • EIS: Leadership Learning to Mobilise Anti-racist Activism (in the Union and Education)

Case Study 11 – Race Recruitment and Retention Action Plan

In March 2020 a commitment was given to developing a Race Recruitment and Retention Action Plan ('the Plan') in the Race Equality Action Plan Year 2 Progress Report.

The Scottish Government Race Recruitment and Retention Action Plan was launched on 2 February 2021 and sets out the action we will take to deliver on our vision to be a world-leading diverse and inclusive employer, where racial equality is achieved.

It was developed in partnership with the Council of Scottish Government Unions and in collaboration with our Race Equality Network and external race-focused organisations. Most importantly, at the heart of the Plan are the voices and views of minority ethnic employees in Scottish Government.

The Plan has at its heart an anti-racist approach and is built around five priorities focused on the whole system, aiming to redistribute power and bring about cultural change.

The key priorities for the Plan are:

1. Embedding Responsibility and Accountability

Outcome: There is ownership of the Plan at individual, corporate and leadership levels and people are taking effective action to take ownership and implement the Race Recruitment and Retention Plan.

2. Leadership, Governance and Decision Making

Outcome: Senior leaders take the lead and champion Race Recruitment and Retention Plan and incorporate equity lens in all leadership and people-related policies, processes and decision they make.

3. Recruitment and Representation

Outcome: Minority Ethnic employees are represented at all levels and in all areas, particularly within at senior levels and management structures.

4. Career progression and promotion

Outcome: Minority Ethnic employees experience equality of opportunity and are optimistic about being able to fulfil their potential in SG.

5. Building an anti-racist culture

Outcome: Our workplace culture is inclusive, collaborative, accountable and enables the skills, talent, experiences and diversity of our minority people to flourish.

Sharing – and relinquishing – power, and building collective leadership are critical to making systemic changes. We will seek to do this by increasing the representation of minority ethnic people in the Senior Civil Service and by exploring structures which enable diverse voices to effectively influence decision-making spaces. We will focus on building an anti-racist mind-set amongst senior leaders to enable them to effectively challenge decisions, behaviours and attitudes which may result in racial inequity. To support that change in behaviours and attitudes, we will build a critical mass of race allies across a range of business functions, grades and roles. We will focus on creating opportunities for exposure to diverse experiences and ways of thinking; building empathy and understanding of others' perspectives; and engaging to listen and understand and act on what minority ethnic colleagues are telling us is their experience.

Our immediate priorities are establishing effective governance to oversee the implementation of this Plan and equipping our work force at all levels to understand their responsibilities and take effect action to advance race equality. In particular we will seek to normalise race as part of our workplace conversations, in a way which is safe and respectful to create a shared language to discuss racial equality and inclusion.

Case Study 12 – NHS Workforce

In December 2020 it was agreed that a meaningful standardised equality objective will be set for all Health Board Chairs to take effect from 1 April 2021. This will mean Board Chairs will be responsible, in their scrutiny and assurance roles for demonstrating visible support for minority ethnic staff and in turn, Chief Executives will be accountable for delivering outcomes on tackling workforce race inequalities in the NHS.

These objectives will focus on support and empowering new and existing minority ethnic staff networks. Setting these objectives for Chairs means there will also be clear lines of governance at Health Board level in taking the ERG recommendations in an effective way that will deliver outcomes for minority ethnic staff.

In July 2020 we asked Health Boards to signal their commitment to addressing any concerns/anxieties minority ethnic staff had as a result of the pandemic. We also asked them to set-up minority ethnic and other staff networks, where they were not already in place. The results indicated that these Health Boards acted swiftly and appropriately upon these concerns, but that further action is needed to tackle racially motivated bullying, harassment and discrimination. From this exercise 9 Health Boards have established or are in the process of establishing staff networks. We are also working to join up the networks in some smaller Health Boards.

To support and empower these new and existing networks, NHS Tayside developed a toolkit. The toolkit includes a terms of reference, with a focus on establishing senior race allies, mentoring, training and ensuring staff on these networks have ring-fenced time to develop resources and an action plan. The toolkit was sent to Health Boards in August 2020.

We have also been working closely with NHS Tayside to establish and National Minority Ethnic Network, focussing on NHS Scotland initially. As well as being a formal structure for gathering important qualitative data of the experiences of minority ethnic staff, this network will facilitate a clear, strong and credible voice and structure for agile engagement in the development of Health Board policies and initiatives and improvements and effective use of equality data.

A procurement exercise is underway to develop an online portal for best practice in so that employers have access to the information and resources they need to make rapid changes within their organisations. The procurement exercise should be completed in May 2021. The portal will also allow staff from local networks, across health and social care make connections, share information and good practice.

The Network will comprise of the Chairs of local minority ethnic staff networks, external experts and will focus on three key areas, employment, workforce culture and mental health.

Case Study 13 – Glasgow City Council Ethnicity Data Monitoring

As a service of 11,000 employees Glasgow City Council, has a very low recorded level of ethnicity information on its workforce. The Council took steps to improve the recording of data. This included capturing data at the point of recruitment if the employee provided it. The only data it could reliably provide was age and gender.

From 2017 the Council has promoted the message of recording equality data in its staffing communications including how to record this online. Being mindful of concerns which had been expressed by some employees about being asked to provide data around equalities characteristics e.g. religion and sexuality, these communications provided assurances to employees on the use of the data which is only used for statistical purposes and also encouraged trade unions to promote this. The Council then had a targeted approach to all 114 Early Years establishments as they have limited access to computers at work. HR provided forms in sealed envelopes and had around a 70% response rate from establishments. The data provided in these returns confirmed our view that the ethnicity of staff across all of education – teaching, early years and support staff was mainly "White Scottish".

The Council engaged with CEMVO during the Early Years expansion and they provided us with an email list of applicants from minority ethnic communities they were working with who were "work ready". The Senior HR Officer worked tirelessly with CEMVO and we ran a targeted campaign using the email list. This resulted in 14 successful applicants for Support for Learning worker posts in nurseries.

The Council was asked by one of their elected members, who sat on the Council's Equalities All-Party Working Group, to engage with Al Meezan - a women's Muslim centre on the south side of Glasgow whose activities the elected member supported. They hosted 2 information sessions which were attended by the Senior HR Officer and Executive Director. At these sessions, the Council representatives delivered detailed presentations, and took questions from the audience. In addition, HR staff members provided 1-2-1 careers advice. Following on from the two information sessions, the Council ran a further targeted campaign focusing on those who had attended the sessions, and received 47 applicants of which 44 were successful.

A number of successful applicants are still waiting on a post as the majority of the people who applied were restricted in hours and travel, illustrating the intersectional barriers faced by many minority ethnic people applying for jobs in Scotland. The Council were committed to being as flexible in terms of working patterns as possible; however, this was constrained due to the structure of the school/nursery day, meaning most posts were for a 10am – 2pm pattern of hours within specific localities. Head teachers were impressed and fed back to the Council that the standard of applicants was in the main excellent: it was noted that, based on previous interviews with applicants who had worked with CEMVO, the benefits of interview preparation support for this cohort were clearly in evidence.

In recognition of the barriers faced by some potential applicants from minority ethnic communities within Glasgow, the Council ran interview preparation sessions at a local primary school for applicants, and covered information on: how to prepare for a competency based interview; how to "sell" transferable skills if you have no recent employment experience; how to be confident and address the panel and provided guidance and explanation on terms such as "Nurture" "Learning through Play" and "Additional Support Needs" which were of significance within the early years sector.

The Council continued this approach and ran a further 2 sessions at the central Gurdwara in early in 2020 which were attended by around 80 interested applicants. A further targeted campaign was run restricted on the same basis as before to those who attended plus a small group of women from the east end of Glasgow who the Council had funded to undertake a college course. While the Council has identified an approach that has been effective, further engagement through face to face workshops have been affected by the pandemic. It is anticipated that this will change over time as restrictions ease. The Council has, in recent months, supported applicants who required to move to a post in another location, and one of the applicants has started on an early education degree with University of the West of Scotland on a part-time basis.

6. Health and Home

The final year of the REAP has been an unprecedented challenge when it comes to health outcomes for minority ethnic people. On top of the established structural inequality that affects for Scotland's minority ethnic people, evidence quickly emerged that with respect to COVID-19, ME people suffered worse health outcomes as a result.

Our vision for 2030 is that minority ethnic communities in Scotland have equality in physical and mental health as far as is achievable, have effective healthcare appropriate to their needs and experience fewer inequalities in housing and home life. Achieving this vision in the current environment requires focussing upon making our response to COVID-19 work for Scotland's minority ethnic population, tackling the intersectional inequalities that Scots suffer from.

Health and wellbeing are strongly linked with family life and the home environment, and equality in these areas of life is vital to improving life chances. Our action as part of the REAP year 3 has also focused on improving health outcomes for minority ethnic Scots through initiatives to improve the home lives of vulnerable people.

Detailed information on our work on Health and Home can be found in Annex C.

Case Study 14 – COVID-19 Occupational Risk Assessment

On 27 July 2020 we published COVID-19 Occupational Risk Assessment Guidance. This guidance includes an easy to use, individual risk assessment tool that takes into account ethnicity, age, gender, BMI and health conditions to give an overall COVID-19 risk age.

Staff and employers in all sectors now use this guidance to determine whether or not, the workplace is safe and it is safe for the individual to be at work. The guidance is based on the latest clinical and scientific advice on COVID-19 and is updated on a regular basis.

The clarity this tool brings has been widely welcomed, as we now know that certain minority ethnic groups are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and that simply viewing medical conditions in isolation, does not accurately predict an individual's vulnerability.

The most important part of the process is the conversation that takes place between a manager and a member of staff. It is essential that the outcome from these conversations is agreed by both parties. The conversation should take into consideration, workplace risks, and the control measures that can be put into place, to agree a course of action regarding work duties. The guidance also signposts to further medical advice and support for those with complex vulnerabilities.

Case Study 15 – Gypsy Travellers Accommodation and Targeted Healthcare

The Scottish Government published Improving the Lives of Scotland's Gypsy/Travellers jointly with COSLA on 9 October 2019 which includes a number of actions to improve accommodation for Gypsy/Travellers. Delivery of the accommodation actions is supported by a Delivery Plan, overseen by an Accommodation Actions Stakeholder Group. At the start of the pandemic an action on our COVID response was added to the Delivery Plan.

The Scottish Government recognised that the Gypsy/Traveller community faces clear additional challenges during the pandemic. We moved quickly to develop and publish a framework in April 2020 to support local authorities and their partners in local decision making to support Gypsy/Travellers during the outbreak. We reviewed the framework and published a revised version on 25 June that takes into account changing circumstances, while ensuring health protection is maintained. The framework presumes against evictions and focuses on providing additional sanitation facilities to support Gypsy/Travellers to comply with public health advice. Approaches will vary locally but have included providing shower and toilet facilities to unauthorised encampments, keeping seasonal sites open all year and use of holiday caravan site.


Email: charlie.goodwin@gov.scot

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