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Annie Hayes

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Ethnic minority employment gap exposed

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Just over half (59.4%) of all ethnic minorities are in employment a figure that compares to 74.9% of the overall population.

Marking the first anniversary of the Government’s Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force, Minister for Work Jane Kennedy said a lot of work had to be done to realise the potential of this group of workers:

“Ethnic minorities are twice as likely to be unemployed. These statistics are shocking, and that is why this cross-government Task Force has been created and is committed to bringing about change.”

Pay gaps were also unveiled with the news that ethnic minorities earn less than white workers. Average weekly earnings for white workers were £376, compared to £347 for ethnic minorities.

The government pointed to the work already done:

  • The Department for Education and Skills’ Aiming High Strategy, which provides help for ethnic minority pupils, their teachers and their parents, representing a key step forward in improving the employability of ethnic minorities;

  • The New Deal has helped more than 125,000 ethnic minority people into work;

  • Ethnic minority outreach work with community organisations is finding innovative ways to connect ethnic minority people with jobs and received an additional £14m funding to do this.

Kennedy said: “The groundwork has been laid in the first year of the Task Force. Now all government departments and employers need to forge ahead and work together to ensure nobody is disadvantaged in their career prospects because of their ethnicity.”

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Annie Hayes

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