Press release issued 15 December 2006
A new report by researchers at the University of Bristol into the range of programmes being implemented across EU states and North America to help tackle low levels of ethnic minority employment is published today by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The report by Dr Ravinder Singh Dhami, Professor Judith Squires and Professor Tariq Modood examines whether initiatives in Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States have been successful and if they could be applied to Great Britain.
Within an EU context the Netherlands and UK stand out as countries that are actively promoting race equality policies. In the case of Canada and the USA, contract compliance has been identified as being one of the most effective positive action tools for pursuing equality of opportunity. The report concludes by suggesting that the adoption of contract compliance approach in the UK is worth considering.
Commenting on the project Professor Judith Squires, Department of Politics, University of Bristol said: "This research identifies successful positive action policies being used in relation to ethnic minority employment practices in the USA, Canada and EU. It invites consideration as to whether similar policies, which target the public procurement process, might now be introduced in the UK."
Welcoming the research Jim Murphy, Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform said: "This research raises a number of interesting ideas about how we can approach the problem of low rates of ethnic minority employment, such as using the public procurement process, something which we are already considering.
"There are now 520,000 more ethnic minority people in employment than there were in 2003 and while this is an improvement there is still a long way to go. We have introduced the New Deprived Areas Fund and the city strategy programmes to specifically help those most disadvantaged to find work."
In July 2005 the DWP commissioned members of The Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, Bristol Institute of Public Affairs to identify successful positive action policies in the USA, Canada and EU; identify the context in which these policies were developed; comment on their relative success; and comment on the desirability/possibility of implementing similar policies in the UK.
The report - Research Report 406: Developing Positive Action Policies: Learning from the Experiences of Europe and North America - is available on the DWP website
Public procurement policies can help improve ethnic employment rates by making the award of government contracts conditional on contractors collecting ethnic minority statistics and in race equality schemes.
Dr Ravinder Singh Dhami is now based at the University of Wolverhampton.
Please contact Hannah Johnson for further information.
This research identifies successful positive action policies being used in relation to ethnic minority employment practices in the USA, Canada and EU. It invites consideration as to whether similar policies, which target the public procurement process, might now be introduced in the UK.