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Working for Growth, the refreshed employability strategy makes clear that overcoming barriers to work is at the heart of employability. People from minority ethnic groups face many labour market barriers and are a key target group for employability services.

People from minority ethnic communities will account for half of the growth in the working age population over the next decade.  It is critical this resource is used effectively.  The Government Economic Strategy argues ensuring everyone can contribute fully to the economy will be essential to Scotland's future growth and prosperity. No one should be denied opportunities because of their race or ethnicity, their disability, gender, sexual orientation, age or religion.

All employability services should be concerned about what they can do to help people from minority ethnic communities enter and progress in the labour market.  As Working for Growth highlights, Employability Partnerships should review the effectiveness of their approaches to working with minority ethnic clients regularly. 

This toolkit aims to give employability practitioners information to do this and to promote and progress racial equality in their services.  It is based on the premise that employability practitioners already have relevant skills and experience to enable them to work with minority ethnic clients effectively. This experience includes:

  • working with people who face discrimination and disadvantage, are distant from the labour market, or have barriers to accessing mainstream services;
  • networking in local communities to engage clients and to access the support clients may need (such  as money advice) to achieve their employability goals;
  • working with employers to make them aware of the difficulties clients may have and supporting them in work.


The toolkit is organised as follows:

  • Section 1 highlights key points in relation to promoting equality. 
  • Section 2 provides an overview of the labour market issues facing people from minority ethnic groups. 
  • Section 3, Section 4, Section 5 and Section 6 provide information to address the specific issues facing minority ethnic clients. 
  • Section 7 provides further information including useful organisations, further reading and references.     

The tools employability services use should be relevant for all clients.  Examples of tools developed by Bridges Programmes in Glasgow which is a specialist service can be accessed on the Employability Learning Network website.

We are very grateful to Bridges for sharing these resources.