Racism row over job ad seeking Indian applicants

An online job advert which called for someone of Indian origin to apply for a post has sparked a racism investigation by the equality watchdog.

IT firm Torry Harris, based in India and the UK, posted the advert for a £38,000-a-year post stating: “Minimum six years of experience in IT… The person should be a UK citizen with security clearance from the UK government. Preferably of Indian origin.”

The jobs board removed the advert for the Bristol-based post, but the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) began investigating potential racism, the Daily Mail has reported.

IT consultant Vince Silva of Chepstow, Gwent, who came across the advert, said: “I have never seen a recruitment advert like this before, and think it is appalling job applicants could be discriminated against in this way.

“It raises a wider question about the way in which some big companies in Britain are bringing in IT workers from abroad instead of recruiting them here.”

Recruitment agency McGregor-Boyall Associates said the advert had been placed in error.

Spokesman Farhaan Majid said: “This is a mistake. I put the advert through like this when I shouldn’t have done.”

The recruitment firm’s managing director Laurie Boyall said: “It should not have been put up, and was cut and pasted from material sent to us by a client in India.”

The jobs board responsible for publishing the ad, Jobsite.co.uk, said it was not responsible for adverts’ content.

However, the EHRC said: “It is unlawful to discriminate against a job applicant on the basis of their nationality… We will be looking into the matter.”

Torry Harris declined to comment.

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