Investors in People accreditation branded bad news for minorities

Minority groups lose out on training in workplaces that have won the Investors in People (IIP) training award, new research suggests.

A study of almost 15,000 people by Nottingham University Business School found that women, ethnic minorities, temps, disabled and older workers were all at more of a disadvantage in terms of training if they worked for an IIP-accredited employer, compared to those at non-IIP workplaces.

The research, which examined data from the government’s 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey, also found that IIP does nothing to boost training levels for many of these groups.

Professor Kim Hoque, author of the research, said: “Although IIP requires organisations to uphold equal opportunities principles, it also requires them to gear their training provision to business needs.

“In organisations where business need is narrowly defined, this often means developmental opportunities come to be targeted on a cadre of core value-creating professionals and managers, rather than the workforce as a whole.”

A spokesman for IIP said the organisation was “surprised and disappointed” with the report’s findings.

“As we were not consulted prior to publication, Investors in People UK would have welcomed the chance to provide input and evidence for the researchers to consider,” he said.