Equality Human Rights Commission begin enquiry into construction sector

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is inviting employees, employers and organisations representing the construction industry to submit evidence for a formal inquiry into race discrimination in the sector.
Evidence suggests that despite the substantial efforts made by ConstructionSkills and many industry partners, there are significant barriers to employment for people from ethnic minorities, with relatively low representation within the industry.

According to the Labour Force Survey 2008, only 3.3% of those in the Construction Industry workforce are from ethnic minorities, compared to 8% of the workforce as a whole.

The inquiry will assess the extent of direct and indirect discrimination, and make practical recommendations to encourage employers to seek out, retain and develop the best talent.

The Commission wants to hear the real-life experiences and views of as many people as possible, at all levels in the industry, and will be gathering evidence from many sources including:

Those running construction firms or providing subcontracted work;
people working in the industry;
people training to join the industry;
organisations or individuals providing training or advice on careers;
bodies that are supporting the industry or its workforce – e.g. industry trade bodies, sector skills councils, business federations, and those involved in ethnic minority business development.

The Inquiry will examine whether redundancies are disproportionately affecting ethnic minorities. It will also examine whether more diverse companies are more successful, through delivering better services and benefiting from public sector contracts.

Examples of good practice by some firms will inform the final recommendations to the industry. Some firms are actively addressing discrimination, and the Commission aims to ensure lessons from those employers are adopted elsewhere.

Call for Evidence forms for specific interest groups are available on this website at: www.equalityhumanrights.com/constructioninquiry
Those interested in submitting evidence can also request a Call for Evidence form by email: raceandconstruction@equalityhumanrights.com
The deadline for responses is 24th March 2009.

The commission will be undertaking a second stage of evidence gathering via a combination of interviews and inquiry panels after April 2009. Those interested in these phases can express their interest at: raceandconstruction@equalityhumanrights.com


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Posted by, Asif Yusuf


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