According to the Trade Unions Congress, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers with degrees are two and a half times more likely to be unemployed than their white peers.
Official statistics, published by the TUC to mark the beginning of its annual black workers’ conference, show the unemployment rate for white workers with degrees is 2.3% but for their BAME counterparts the figure is 5.9%.
At every level of education, jobless rates were much higher for BAME workers, with those holding A-Level equivalents 3.2 times more likely to be unemployed. A TUC analysis in February also highlighted that black graduates were paid nearly a quarter less than their white peers, the equivalent of £4.33 an hour on average.
The TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, has called on the government to develop a race equality plan, with proper funding and clear targets, and to ‘make it harder for discriminating employers to get away with their prejudices’.
‘The harsh reality is that even now black and Asian people, regardless of their qualifications and experience, are far more likely to be unemployed and lower paid than white people.
‘Companies that only recruit from a narrow base are missing out on the wide range of experiences on offer from Britain’s many different communities.’
Earlier this year the government announced that Sajid Javid, the business secretary, would lead a cross-government taskforce focused on improving the life chances of non-white Britons.
Responding to the TUC analysis, a government spokeswoman said: ‘The black and minority ethnic employment rate is now at its highest since records began in 2001, and we are determined to go further and increase BME employment and apprenticeship take-up by 20% by 2020.’
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