Report on Ethnicity and Employment in Scotland’s Public Sector

The State of the Nation: Race and Racism in Scotland – Employment was published by the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) in April 2014.

Evidence suggests that positive interaction between people from different ethnic backgrounds erodes prejudicial attitudes and helps build cohesive and integrated communities. This interaction can take place in neighbourhoods and communities (i.e. where people live), in social and cultural arenas (where people play) and in employment (where people work).

Of these three aspects of people’s lives, achieving integration in the workplace should be the easiest. However, there is ample evidence that people from Black minority ethnic backgrounds suffer disadvantage in the labour market. Some of this is down to structural discrimination in the labour market and some to racial discrimination by employers. The disadvantage in employment often leads to a knock-on effect, leading to, for example, increased poverty amongst people from Black minority ethnic communities, and a lack of provision of appropriate services.

This report explores data on ethnicity and employment in Scotland’s public sector. It will present a compilation of the available data, look at some of the difficulties associated with collecting and analysing the data, and make a small number of recommendations based on the findings of the published data.