Employability and Developing the Young Workforce

This image shows two children playing, one is taking the role of a medical professional, one is taking the role of a patient. Learners from Minority Ethnic minorities can face significant barriers to access the world of work and are underrepresented in some employment, education and training opportunities.  Developing the Young Workforce Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy notes that young people from Scotland’s Minority Ethnic communities embark on a narrower range of pathways than young people from the population as a whole and are more likely to experience unemployment.

The Equality Evidence Review highlights that people from Minority Ethnic communities tend to do well at school and progress to higher education in larger numbers than the rest of the population. However, these achievements are often not reflected in labour market outcomes both in terms of recruitment and adverse experiences in the workplace. Discrimination was the main reason identified.

Race equality and anti-racist education offers us the opportunity to form tomorrow’s employers and employees and reduce future racism in the workplace. It can also support the aim to widen the pathways considered by Minority Ethnic young people and their parents. This can begin at Early Level  when children see representatives from ethnic minorities  in a range of careers. Practitioners should be pro-active in encouraging parents and learners to consider the range of options available.

Information on race equality and employability and Developing the Young Workforce is available here.

Reflective Questions

  • Are all protected characteristics represented proportionally?
  • Have you discussed and represented all types of job in a way that subverts stereotypes and broadens perceptions of available learner pathways?
  • How well is your setting showing Minority Ethnic people represented in a wide range of careers and leadership levels?
  • Have you gathered feedback from young people on whether they feel represented? Have you acted on feedback as appropriate?
  • To what extent are all learners provided with opportunities to explore a wide range of learner pathways and careers that are not narrowed by stereotypes or unconscious bias?
  • How well are you disaggregating data by ethnicity in order to analyse and plan for mitigating the under-representation of Minority Ethnic young people in certain routes to employment (e.g. Modern Apprenticeships)?
  • Have careers advisors and guidance staff been offered professional learning in race equality and mitigating bias (unconscious and conscious)?