North Wales Police has become the latest force to use ‘positive action’ by targeting Polish migrants in a recruitment drive.
Simon Shaw, head of HR at the force, told Personnel Today: “We are trying to encourage a pool of applicants that mirror our diverse community. It is not positive discrimination it is positive action.”
Shaw said the service had only received three applications from Polish migrants, despite an estimated 10,000 living in north-east Wales. But he denied that Polish candidates would receive preferential treatment.
“Applications from Polish people will be processed in the usual way. They have to complete the national assessment centre in English like everyone else,” Shaw said. However, the force will refer any Polish applicants to language training centres if they fail to make it through and will reconsider their application after training.
About 300,000 Poles are estimated to have migrated to the UK since the country joined the EU in 2004.
Shaw insisted the force was following EU guidelines. “The fundamental principle of EU membership is the flexibility of the workplace, and anyone from an EU member state is entitled to apply for jobs here,” he said.
Police forces often act with the best intentions, but their actions sometimes land them in hot water. Lancashire Police was criticised earlier this year for offering applicants from ethnic minority groups guidance workshops on the recruitment process.