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.

Annex A - Employment

These annexes provide updates on all original actions from the Race Equality Action Plan followed by updates on the reprioritised and refocused actions from the end of Year 2. Additional activity in Year 3 that has taken place in response to either COVID-19 or Black Lives Matter is then captured.

Action status categorisation is as follows

  • Complete*
  • Ongoing**
  • Paused
  • Reprioritised

*We cannot see this work as being done just because an action has been completed within a timeframe. For some actions, the marking of a status as complete may mean that the specific one-off action as originally proposed has been undertaken however work continues in this area and this is reflected in the update.

** Actions may be marked as 'ongoing' for the same reason. Much of the work reflected in these annexes is long-term in nature and continues beyond the end of the REAP.

Year 1 only
Action Action Status Update
We and our partners will actively promote the Workplace Equality Fund as an opportunity for increasing employment opportunities for people from minority ethnic backgrounds. Complete The Workplace Equality Fund (WEF) was delivered by the Voluntary Action Fund (now Impact Funding Partners) to address long standing barriers in the labour market faced by women, older workers, minority ethnic and disabled people. Voluntary Action Fund (VAF) worked with a number of the unsuccessful applicants to enable them to improve the quality of the applications following the first round of the Workplace Equality Fund, in which only one successful application specially stated that it would support people from minority ethnic backgrounds. For the second round of applications in July 2018, Ministers and Scottish Government officials actively promoted the Workplace Equality Fund through speeches at diversity events and conferences and also via the BME Employability Steering Group. Five of the thirteen projects approved for funding in the second round in autumn 2018 targeted support for minority ethnic communities. A further update on Workplace Equality Fund activity undertaken since Year 1 can be found in the reprioritisation section.
We will encourage stakeholders engaged in race equality to consider submitting an application to the Workplace Equality Fund. Complete Both the Scottish Government and the Voluntary Action Fund (now Impact Funding Partners) actively promoted Round 2 of funding to organisations who support minority ethnic people and this resulted in an increase both in the quality and the number of applications relating to the support of the ME community. Five of the thirteen projects approved for funding in the second round in autumn 2018 targeted support for minority ethnic communities. We continue to promote the Workplace Equality Fund to our stakeholders through regular catch ups, e-bulletins and webinar information sessions.
We will use the data from the public bodies reporting round to influence the dialogue with delivery agencies and other key stakeholders to map activities that aim to improve employment and progression for minority ethnic communities. This will contribute to the development of a coherent cross government approach that will provide direction and accountability. Complete The Scottish public sector is covered by the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (as amended). These Regulations apply to listed authorities with twenty or more employees and include two elements for reporting on staff (including in regard to ethnicity). The first element is a general duty on each listed authority to annually gather and use information on its composition of its employees, as well as on their recruitment, development and retention, all broken down by relevant protected characteristic. This information is published every second year. In addition, every four years, authorities must publish a policy on equal pay among its employees, including between staff who fall into a minority racial group and those who do not. At the same time authorities must publish information on occupational segregation among its employees, including the concentration in particular grades and particular occupations of staff who fall into a minority racial group and staff who do not. Public bodies will next report by the end of April 2021. This data will inform the subsequent development of proposals for the mainstreaming strategy detailed below. This data will also be core to the development of the next set of race equality employment actions taken forward in the next iteration of the Race Equality Action Plan. The Public Sector Equality Duty review will be progressed in two stages between now and summer 2021. The first stage will be the production of a report, scheduled for publication spring 2021 on the effectiveness of PSED in Scotland, learning from the experience of seeking to discharge the equality duty during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second stage of the review, engaging with equality stakeholders to develop specific proposals, will form part of the development of the new strategy for embedding equality and human rights in the work of the government, as per the commitment made in September's Programme for Government.
We will fund research to aid a clearer understanding of the issues around minority ethnic entrepreneurs to make interventions that assist minority ethnic entrepreneurs to access and make full use of the enterprise eco-system within the public and private sector. Complete The Scottish Government commissioned research by University of Strathclyde's Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship to identify the barriers to minority ethnic and migrant entrepreneurship in Scotland. That research, published in May 2018, set out key areas in which minority ethnic and migrant entrepreneurs face challenges in starting and growing successful businesses. Based on that research the Scottish Government has engaged with a broad range of organisations representing minority ethnic and migrant groups, alongside business support organisations in public, private and third sector, through workshops and meetings. The Scottish Government worked with some of those partners to identify case studies on existing practice across the support sector, and to consider next steps. For example, our financial support for the work of the Prince's Trust in Scotland has included support for their Mosaic Programme supporting young people from minority ethnic backgrounds. A workshop was also held in November 2019, bringing together representatives of key organisations with an interest in business support for minority ethnic and migrant enterprises. The establishment of a network was discussed, in order to engage in the challenges identified and collectively develop next steps in supporting businesses. Due to the impact of COVID-19 this work has had to be paused and will be picked up as soon as possible. We know that the economic impact of COVID-19 will be felt disproportionately by groups already under-represented in Scotland's entrepreneurial community, including women, minority ethnic and migrant entrepreneurs and young people. Widening participation in enterprise will be a key focus for Scottish Government, our enterprise agencies and partners as we support economic recovery.
Year 2 only
We will work with key stakeholders, including the BME Employability Strategic Steering Group, to agree baselines, measures and targets for minority ethnic communities who face disadvantage in the labour market. Complete Our work on this concluded that the Annual Population Survey is the primary source of data as a baseline, but that a variety of other sources should be considered. This action was highlighted in the Year 2 report and refocused as follows: In order to develop our understanding of the experience of people from minority ethnic groups in Scotland's labour market, the Scottish Government will continue to work with key stakeholders, including the BME Employability Strategic Steering Group, to consider how alternative sources of data can be used to complement Annual Population Survey statistics. An update on the above action can be found in the reprioritisation section.
We will work with key stakeholders to review current employment support measures to ensure that they are focused on achieving parity in employment for minority ethnic communities. Complete The Scottish Government has an extensive range of race equality stakeholders, including BEMIS, CEMVO, CRER and the BME Employability Steering Group - we work closely and collaboratively with them and the communities they represent. Engagement with these stakeholders informed the development of our Fair Work Action Plan, published in 2019, which sets out the actions we will take to make Scotland a Fair Work Nation by 2025. As part of this programme of work we
  • Announced that we will introduce fair work criteria to as many Government grants and contracts as possible by the end of this Parliament.
  • Provided £750,000 through the Workplace Equality Fund to fund projects to improve race equality and tackle the minority ethnic pay gap in the workplace.
  • Funded Close the Gap to do a piece of research focused on ME women's experiences. Still Not Visible: Research on black and minority ethnic women's experiences of employment in Scotland was published in February 2019.
  • Held a Race Equality and Employment event in March 2019 and will continue this engagement going forward.
Further information on work in this area can be found in the main report and in other action updates.
We will lead a dialogue with delivery agencies, and other key stakeholders, to map activities that aim to improve employment and progression for groups who suffer disadvantage in the labour market (including people from minority ethnic communities) to develop a more coherent approach that will provide direction and accountability. Complete Our work to develop interventions such as the Parental Employability Support Fund (PESF), PESF Boost, the Women Returners Programme, the Workplace Equality Fund and our No One Left Behind delivery plan all reflect engagement and evidence captured with and by stakeholders and lived experience panels, which have informed the design and implementation of interventions to best meet the needs of individuals. We have been working closely with stakeholders to convene our first lived experience panel, drawing on expertise from advocacy organisations to identify a membership that represents a wide range of backgrounds and barriers to employment. Impact assessments were completed for PESF including an Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) ensuring that low income parents are supported to access or progress in employment, thereby reducing the likelihood of them and their family experiencing poverty. Data released on 13 May 2020 highlights a higher mortality rate for Coronavirus for ME males, strengthening the need for ME families to be one of the priority groups targeted through PESF and wider No One Left Behind interventions. The ongoing development of No One Left Behind, has given us the opportunity to work collectively with service users, Local Government, the Third Sector, private providers and employers to continue to design, develop and deliver improvements to the employability system in Scotland. During this time we have listened to a range of people and organisations, including people who rely on employability support, about the importance of developing a flexible and responsive system, capable of supporting people in ways that work for them. For the Women Returners Programme, meetings were held with stakeholders to help to ascertain specific needs of minority ethnic women.
We will work with key stakeholders to agree baselines, measures and targets with regard to underrepresentation of ethnic minorities. We will ask this group to identify gaps in the evidence base and use this information to assess the next steps. Complete This activity forms part of the work referenced in the above action.
We will engage a wide range of public sector employers in a discussion about what positive actions we can take to improve employment and progression for minority ethnic communities. Ongoing As part of our response to the Scottish Parliament's Equalities and Human Rights Committee report, "Race Equality, Employment and Skills: Making Progress?", we have committed to developing and publishing a guide on positive action that public authorities can take, including case studies and other material, to help them shape their actions to make a real impact. This will complement the Minority Ethnic Recruitment Toolkit we published in September last year and cover the breadth of the employability pipeline from recruitment to retention to progression. We intend to work with a small group of public sector employers to assist in the development of this guidance. This work will be taken forward by the Coalition of Race Equality and Rights (CRER), who bring their expertise on race equality and anti-racism. Further details on the approach are yet to be finalised but we expect documentation to be produced by the end of this calendar year and for it to be published on the Scottish Government website. In addition, we highlighted in our criteria for the Workplace Equality Fund that we are looking for outcomes that include businesses/employers/line managers/workers to develop their knowledge and skills around fair work principles and equalities, and apply positive action that will lead to a more inclusive workplace. The Workplace Equality Fund projects for 2021/22 were announced in January, and we will raise awareness of the projects that focus on positive action measures and look at ways in which practice can be more widely shared. As part of our commitment to develop a community of practice to support public sector employers in their recruitment of minority ethnic people, we also established a small working group in early 2020, with a number of meetings held throughout the year, albeit impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This group continues to meet and its membership includes Social Security Scotland, Police Scotland, Local Authority representation and Scottish Parliament.
In partnership with stakeholders we are currently developing a recognition of prior qualifications, skills and a learning pilot project as part of the New Scots Strategy. Ongoing Since 2018 the Scottish Government has supported the Skills Recognition Scotland pilot project, led by Dr Ima Jackson at Glasgow Caledonian University, to develop a service and national process to enable people who have migrated to Scotland (including refugees and asylum seekers) to gain recognition for the skills and qualifications they have obtained out with the UK and to overcome the significant issues of unemployment and under‑employment. Phases 1-3 were the development phases and the project engaged with employers, key stakeholders, education sectors and participants to consolidate and test processes and infrastructure. Phase 4 is the initial implementation phase and started in March 2020. With restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the proposed face‑to‑face model was no longer appropriate, therefore the project quickly adapted its delivery model to an online service to meet the needs of the project, participants and employers. Moving services online has created the opportunity for a more fluid and inclusive service, accessible from all geographical locations, once the project is launched. The first cohort using these new online methods, was led by 16 pharmacists. Ten participants have completed the process with four obtaining jobs in Dispensing, one as a Laboratory Technician and a further five engaging with a key employer. All have obtained relevant documentation evidencing their skills. It is important that this project is seen as an economic initiative and a valuable part of the overall economic recovery, linking into talent attraction and skills initiatives.
Following our procurement process for the Fair Start Scotland Programme, we will take specific actions to help those from disadvantaged minority ethnic groups to tackle the barriers these groups face in the labour market. Complete Minority Ethnic communities and refugees remain a key priority group of communities for entry onto Fair Start Scotland. Providers are required to recognise the specific support needs of people from minority ethnic communities and put in place measures to support engagement. Officials continue to liaise with organisations who support minority ethnic communities to understand any barriers with a view to increasing the number of referrals to the service. In order to improve engagement and uptake of Fair Start Scotland's employment support services by minority ethnic people, consideration was given to the specific needs of minority ethnic women who were looking to enter or return to work and the following action highlighted in the end of Year 2 report: We will also expand the successful approach tested through Fair Start Scotland to work with minority ethnic women to inform and shape the tailored programme of support on offer, in order to increase the number of minority ethnic clients successfully accessing and benefitting from the service A further update on the above action can be found in the reprioritisation section. As face to face delivery has not been possible since March 2020 due to COVID restrictions, this work is currently paused.
We will tailor employment support to meet the needs of refugees and (where eligible) asylum seekers. Ongoing In addition to the action taken on Fair Start Scotland, Skills Development Scotland and Education Scotland continue to develop and strengthen joint working to meet the needs of asylum seekers in response to the "New Scots" strategy. The New Scots refugee integration strategy 2018 – 2022 aims to support refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland's communities. The strategy is led by the Scottish Government, COSLA and the Scottish Refugee Council. Development and implementation require the support of wider partners. The strategy recognises that integration is a long term, two way process, involving positive change for both refugees and asylum seekers and host communities. Delivery of outcomes, which will support the achievement of the New Scots vision, requires coordination of the efforts of organisations and community groups across Scotland. The delivery and monitoring of progress on this work will be undertaken in partnership by the New Scots Employability and Welfare Rights group, which is co-chaired by Scottish Refugee Council, DWP and Bridges Programmes.
We will work with stakeholders to promote an evidence based approach to ensuring the right support is in place to help minority ethnic graduates enter employment. Ongoing Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO) data was made available to the Scottish Government during the early stages of the REAP's lifespan and was the beginning of work to undertake proper analysis and to consider how it could be used. A workshop was held internally in May 2019 where Equality and Fair Work colleagues were consulted on what would be useful to see from the LEO data. Some analysis of activity of ME graduates including how many are going into employment has been carried out, but the data set is small. However, the evidence base has been established and will provide the foundation for building on, including how to increase the data set by combining years in order to be able to publish. In the end of Year 2 report we highlighted some related work to this as follows: We will continue to analyse existing education data to improve understanding of how the career prospects of minority ethnic graduates differ to the non-minority population in Scotland. The action has subsequently been paused due to COVID-19 priorities and will be resumed as soon as possible.
We will work with the Developing Young Workforce Regional Groups to encourage more employers to offer work placements for young people in school and college, including those from minority ethnic groups. Complete An equalities audit was carried out in 2019 on the work of the Developing Young Workforce Regional Groups to review how well its work was targeting particular equality groups including young people from minority ethnic backgrounds. This review revealed the need to provide further support to regional groups to build their capability to engage with minority ethnic communities. Further information on progress on Developing the Young Workforce can be found in the main report.
Multi-year actions
Action Action Status Update
We will work with Skills Development Scotland to annually review their Equality Action Plan for Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland to monitor progress towards the improvements set out in our Youth Employment Strategy - Developing Scotland's Young Workforce. Ongoing The Skills Development Scotland Apprenticeships Equality Action Plan sets out a commitment to ensuring that individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds can access work-based learning opportunities and achieve equitable outcomes. SDS has published a review for the Equality Action Plan (EAP) annually since 2017. The Year 4 update was published in November 2020; Year 5, 20/21 is the last year of the Action Plan. As a result of the work that has come from the EAP there has been an increase in the number of Modern Apprenticeship starts self-identified as being from a Mixed or Multiple; Asian; African; Caribbean or Black; and Other ethnic group since 2015/16. The target of 5.1% of MA starts has so far not been achieved. The work undertaken through the EAP and the insight gained from the annual reports will now inform the development of future plans to build on the progress made when the EAP reaches its conclusion at the end of 2020/21. This will be done in partnership with other policy areas which contribute to the delivery of the Young Person's Guarantee.
We will work with partners and social enterprises to strengthen minority ethnic engagement with social enterprises. We will fund key delivery partners to deliver a Social Enterprise Capacity Building Programme which will provide support for up to 38 minority ethnic social entrepreneurs and 34 minority ethnic groups; and deliver 6 social enterprise awareness raising events. Ongoing As of January 2021, we have provided 1-1 SE business support (including COVID response – further details below) to 43 minority ethnic groups. Areas of support client groups are receiving include:
  • Legal structures.
  • Business planning.
  • Market research.
  • Funding strategies.
  • Financial awareness.
Two organisations have been supported through Asset Transfers with ongoing legal and Governance support working in partnership with COSS. Many ME groups access support through the Just Enterprise partnership support programme. Groups unable to meet the criteria can receive support from the Social Enterprise CEMVO team. Since November 2018, we have been engaging with
  • Faith & Educational groups.
  • Neighbourhood groups.
  • Women's café.
  • Community Shops.
  • Poverty relief.
Individuals are currently being supported within these areas through 1-2-1 delivery and workshops.
  • Drafted a Memorandum of Understanding with Firstport with the aim of ensuring equitable access to social funding to ME applicants and to enable Firstport staff to better identify and address barriers to ME applicant success.
  • Currently working with SIS to organise partnership events to increase awareness of SIS / social investment loans and to possibly pilot a new part funding part loan model to help develop a "loan ready" / "loan culture" among ME social enterprises.
  • Have an agreement with CEiS to provide additional SE business resilience support to ME clients over and above the Just Enterprise SE support.
  • Have developed a working relationship with Aberdeen TSI to work together to support ME social enterprises in that region.
  • Involved in Scottish Enterprise consultations on developing COVID economic recovery plans with consideration for inequalities.
COVID 19 Third Sector Recovery Fund – Wellbeing Fund
  • CEMVO Social Enterprise Team distributed information broadly to ME social enterprises and ME Third Sector organisations. We received direct contact from 37 ME groups and provided them with more in-depth information and discussions around proposed projects to supporting the submission of applications for funding. This is in addition to ongoing social enterprise support that we were providing to 43 SE clients.
COVID 19 Adapt & Thrive, Community Recovery
  • distributed information broadly to ME client networks. Had further contact with approximately 12 clients to support the submission of applications and have 2 clients currently awaiting assessment.
  • Distributed information to our ME social enterprise and Third Sector networks as COVID emergency funding and other funding streams came online and followed up with those who we thought the fund was relevant to.
  • Supported applications to the Coop Food Fund, Big Lottery Awards for All, Tesco Bags of Help, NET/ Foundation Scotland, The Robertson Trust, Glasgow City Council, and South Lanarkshire Council.
  • Directly supported ME social enterprise clients to successfully apply for and secure £154,471 worth of funding which will contribute to the resilience and survival of many EM social enterprises.
  • Directly supported many more clients who are still waiting for the outcome of funding applications, to the value of around £197,000.
Additional actions generated from Year 2 reprioritisation, the Black Lives Matter movement and/or COVID-19
Action Action Status Update
Development of a race employment toolkit. Complete Data from the Annual Population Survey, collected by ONS, shows that the proportion of minority ethnic workers is lower in Scotland's public sector than in the wider economy. It became apparent that there is a risk that this will worsen across the labour market due to the impact on the economy of the coronavirus pandemic. In response to this, in September 2020 Scottish Government published a toolkit to support employers in recruiting from minority ethnic backgrounds. This toolkit is aimed at recruitment managers in the public sector looking to improve the diversity of their workforce and includes a range of suggestions and ideas for organisations who will appreciate some initial guidance focusing on 5 components
  • Strategic direction.
  • Developing and embedding capability and capacity.
  • Using data.
  • Advertising and engagement.
  • Sifting and interviewing.
Content has been drawn from practice that is used in parts of the public sector, however the information in this toolkit may be equally useful to employers in other sectors Minority Ethnic Recruitment Toolkit
Development of a Fair Work Statement. Ongoing In response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the impact of COVID-19 on minority ethnic groups, a proposal to develop a Fair Work position on race equality was agreed. We engaged with a range of stakeholders in September to begin discussions on developing the paper. Through working with the STUC Black Workers' Committee, we engaged with minority ethnic workers in November to hear about their experiences of the workplace and to review this against the fair work practice that employers are encouraged to apply. The statement is due to be complete by summer 2021.
We will take action to address the low uptake of apprenticeships and employment support services through national campaigns such as Fair Start Scotland and Modern Apprenticeships. We will increase engagement with communities to improve understanding of specific needs that vary across ethnicities, age groups and gender, so that we can better meet those needs in terms of employment support and access to employment opportunities. Ongoing The Modern Apprenticeship Quarter 4 Statistics published in June 2020 showed that for Ethnicity: The proportion of MAs who self-identified as being from a Mixed or Multiple; Asian; African; Caribbean or Black; and Other ethnic group has continued to increase and was 2.4% in 2019/20, +0.2 pp on 2018/19. The Scottish Government and Skills Development Scotland recognise that more work is needed to see a significant increase across apprenticeships and access to employment opportunities, and support services, and that employers play a vital role in our work to ensure take up is representative of our communities. Building on the EQIA for work-based learning, and the work Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has undertaken during 2019/20, over the next year SDS will use a logic model approach to carry out a systematic review of their programmes and activities in order to better determine the impact that they are having. A range of guides for SDS learning providers have previously been developed, including engaging with Minority Ethnic communities and supporting apprentices with additional support needs. In 2020/21, SDS will review these guides to ensure that providers across Foundation Apprenticeships, Modern Apprenticeships and Graduate Apprenticeships continue to have access to up-to-date information and resources on attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. More of SDS resources will be translated into other languages, providing greater information on work-based learning to people whose first language is not English.
We will also expand the successful approach tested through Fair Start Scotland to work with minority ethnic women to inform and shape the tailored programme of support on offer, in order to increase the number of minority ethnic clients successfully accessing and benefitting from the service. Ongoing We are engaged with Fair Start Scotland Providers around how this activity can be progressed. Referral volumes to Fair Start Scotland have reduced considerably during the period of COVID 19 restrictions, with Job Centre Plus Offices (source of the majority of referrals) either closed or more recently allowing access to complex needs individuals only. Consequently the majority of referrals since March have been generated through Social Media and previous levels of new participation from ME individuals are not being reached. A strategy to market FSS to ME communities is being developed, following which the intention is to utilise and expand on the previous approach. We recognise that much of the success prior to the pandemic was due to face to face and peer support, which is proportionately more difficult in the current operating conditions. Our Year 2 Annual Report on FSS identified minority ethnic individuals as being an under represented group in FSS, consequently we are working with providers to develop and implement an action plan to specifically prioritise ME individuals and communities. We are also in the process of commissioning a ME support organisation to deliver capability building sessions for FSS Providers to upskill their staff on techniques for engaging with ME individuals and communities, and marketing them to potential employers.
In implementing Fair Work, we will be working across the Scottish Government and with key stakeholders to develop a robust approach for monitoring the adoption of Fair Work First by employers and its impact on minority ethnic workers and the wider workforce. In doing so we will use a suite of indicators to illustrate what employers can do along with good practice exemplars. This will help employers understand how effectively they meet the dimensions of Fair Work, and what action they can take to improve their practice, removing race related barriers within their workplace. Ongoing Fair Work policy leads are currently working with Scottish Government analysts to develop an appropriate and proportionate approach for measuring the impact of Fair Work First. In line with our Fair Work First criteria, we will look to measure improvements in creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces for those employers accessing public funding or delivering a public contract. In doing so, particular attention will be given to the fair work experience of minority ethnic workers and an intersectional approach undertaken.
We aim to use the increased offer of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) workforce to increase the diversity of the ELC workforce, including greater representation of people from minority ethnic communities. Ongoing This update is covered in the Early Learning and Childcare update within the Education section of the report.
We continue to work with the Diversity in the Teaching Profession working group, to look at ways of increasing the number of teachers from under-represented groups at all levels in Scottish schools. Ongoing This update is covered in the Diversity in Teaching update within the Education section of the report.
Work with partners/agencies to broaden minority ethnic young people's knowledge and awareness of the range of future learning and career paths. Ongoing Scottish Government is working with Intercultural Youth Scotland to ensure that young Black people and young people of colour are properly represented and have support to access to available opportunities. This will align Scotland's Young Person's Guarantee with the work being taken forward through the Workplace Equality Fund, Gender Pay Gap, Race Equality Action Plan, the Promise, and Disability Action Plan to encourage employers to adopt and embed fair and inclusive workplace practices. As part of the drive to address challenges for young people from minority ethnic backgrounds, there is work underway towards the delivery of a package of training, as well as the implementation of School Co-ordinators through Developing the Young Workforce.
Establish a multi-agency National Working Group, chaired by a senior Scottish Government official to provide strategic direction and hold health boards to account for delivering outcomes on minority ethnic employment by March 2021. Ongoing We are working to establish a national health and social care minority ethnic staff network and a scoping meeting will take place in early 2021 to discuss the remit and membership of this network, with a view to establishing the network from April 2021. This network will help drive forward the ERG recommendations and our PfG commitments that reflect the recommendations. To support this network we are scoping the development of an online portal where local staff networks can share resources, good practice and support one another. The national network differs from our original proposal to establish a multi-agency National Working Group on race, namely that the Scottish Government will provide a supporting, rather than a chairing role, to ensure the network`s independence.
We will develop a Scottish Government Recruitment and Retention Plan for minority ethnic people. Complete The Scottish Government's first Race Recruitment and Retention Plan was developed over the course of 2020 and launched on 1 February 2021. The plan sets out actions to achieve three main objectives: to redress imbalances of power through an anti-racist approach; to build a culture of inclusion within the Scottish Government; and to build on targets already set to increase the proportion of minority ethnic people at all levels in the organisation. Further details of the plan can be found in the main report.
Promote evidence of effective approaches to recruitment practice and what is being done to improve practice in relation to recruitment, retention and progression of minority ethnic people. Ongoing We promoted the effective approaches of Scottish Government as an employer as a case study within the Minority Ethnic Recruitment Toolkit which is aimed at recruitment managers in the public sector looking to improve the diversity of their workforce A small working group of Public Sector leaders has been set up with a focus on recruitment, looking at recruitment issues such as community engagement, marketing and inclusive messaging. Further work on this will include the commission of work later this year to develop a guide on positive action.
Undertake a review of the Workplace Equalities Fund. Ongoing We continue to support minority ethnic people to enter, remain or progress in employment through the Workplace Equality Fund via collaborations between charities and private business or public bodies to reduce labour market inequalities. In 2019/20,13 of 25 funded projects targeted minority ethnic people. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we extended the funding period which enabled projects to adapt the delivery of their projects in a way that observes and follows public health guidance, for example a move to online learning rather than face-to-face. On 22nd January 2021 we announced the projects that will be funded through our Workplace Equality Fund 20/21, with a collective funding amount of over £300,000. Projects will aim to provide short, sharp labour market interventions to support equality groups and 6 will support minority ethnic communities specifically. An evaluation will take place over February – March 2021 of the previous two iterations of the Workplace Equality Fund 18/19, 19/20 and the current 20/21 fund which will end on the 31st March 2021. The results of the evaluation will inform the design of any future iterations of the fund.
In order to develop our understanding of the experience of people from minority ethnic groups in Scotland's labour market, the Scottish Government will continue to work with key stakeholders, including the BME Employability Strategic Steering Group, to consider how alternative sources of data can be used to complement Annual Population Survey. Ongoing Recent labour market analysis has shown that compared with the white population, labour market outcomes for minority ethnic groups in Scotland have been disproportionately impacted during previous economic recessions. This analysis has helped to inform criteria for specific strands of funding, such as the Workplace Equalities Fund and the Fair Work Leadership and Equality Programme administered by Scottish Union Learning.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions have been found to have a generally regressive impact on the UK labour market with more deprived areas and already disadvantaged groups worst affected[1].
  • This is partly due to the service sectors of the economy being particularly hard hit (e.g. accommodation & food) where lower paid and more precarious work is more prevalent.
  • People from minority ethnic groups make up a disproportionately large share of employment in some of these sectors. For example, 27.4% of the minority ethnic workforce in Scotland work in the Distribution, Hotels and Restaurants sector, compared with 17.9% for the white population (ONS, Annual Population Survey, Oct '19 – Sept '20).
  • Even prior to COVID-19, research by the Resolution Foundation found BAME workers in the UK experience a "pay penalty" in the hospitality sector compared with White British workers[2].
  • And analysis for the UK has shown that by ethnicity, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic workers have experienced the highest rate of job losses when leaving furlough[3].
  • Further information of how inequalities based on ethnicity have been affected by COVID-19 is available here:
Inequalities by ethnicity in the context of COVID-19 (slide-pack)
We will undertake a review of the existing evidence base with a literature review. This will be used to ensure that any potential future analysis is focussed on evidence gaps. We will publish the findings and will engage with stakeholders to evaluate the review and use this to determine what further research is required. Paused This action has been paused due to COVID-19 priorities but will be resumed as soon as possible.
We will set up a stakeholder advisory group to support, advise and guide our work. Paused This action has been paused due to COVID-19 priorities but will be resumed as soon as possible.
We will continue to analyse existing education data to improve understanding of how the career prospects of minority ethnic graduates differ to the non-minority population in Scotland. This will better enable the Scottish Government to identify and quantify the impact of different labour market barriers to minority ethnic labour market outcomes in Scotland. Paused This action has been paused due to COVID-19 priorities but will be resumed as soon as possible.


Email: charlie.goodwin@gov.scot

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