Racism in UK workplaces is damaging the career prospects of many black workers because at every level of working life they get less training opportunities, according to a TUC report.
The report, Workplace training – a race for opportunity, launched today to coincide with the TUC’s annual Black Worker’s conference, reveals that even though job-related training is more likely to be offered to qualified workers, qualified black and minority ethnic workers receive fewer opportunities.
Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: “Racism at work is still preventing too many black workers from fulfilling their potential. We need new legislation that will force all employers to give equal access to training for all workers.
“The TUC is campaigning to extend Britain’s race relations law to make all workplaces respond positively to the training needs of black workers.”
Certain ethnic groups, in particular Pakistani and Bangladeshi employees, face real barriers to training opportunities, according to the report.
Nearly 39% of Pakistani employees and nearly half 47% of Bangladeshi employees have never been offered training. And in the case of Bangladeshi men, this rises to 51%.
- About 31% of black and minority ethnic workers have never been offered training by their current employer. This compares with 29% of white employees.
- Public sector employees are much more likely to be offered training by their employer. Only 15% of black and minority ethnic public sector employees say they have never been offered training, compared to 37% working in the private sector. The equivalent figures for white employees are 14% and 35%.
- Those belonging to a trade union have a huge advantage in being offered training. Just 16% of unionised black and minority ethnic employees have never been offered training compared to 36% who are not union members.
- In certain industrial sectors there is a clear divide in equality of access to training. For example, in manufacturing 48% of black and minority ethnic employees say that they have never been offered training compared to only 37% of white employees.
- The ‘qualification divide’ has a huge impact on who is offered job-related training by their employer. For the workforce at large, there is a clear ‘training hierarchy’ with only 17% of employees with a degree saying that they have never been offered such training, compared to 55% of those employees without any qualifications.