Most people favour increased diversity in the workforce, research shows

Most people in the UK think employers should do more to attract workers from diverse backgrounds, according to research.

More than half (56%) of the 2,000 respondents surveyed by Jobcentre Plus, part of the Department for Work and Pensions, said they would be more likely to use a business that had a diverse workforce. Eight in 10 (79%) people also said it was important for businesses to have an equality policy.

Smaller business may find it even more difficult to diversify their workforce, according to Jobcentre Plus.

Lesley Strathie, chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, said creating a diverse workforce was about more than just legislative compliance and corporate responsibility.

“This research proves to employers that being committed to diversity is not a business choice, but a business imperative. Customers and employees want to shop and work in environments that reflect their local communities; by broadening the scope of their recruitment base, employers can plug skills gaps, improve retention and increase productivity,” she said.

Jobcentre Plus and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation have created a diversity toolkit to provide recruiters with best practice guidance on diversity issues.

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