BAME people in Central Bedfordshire are more likely to be employed than their white counterparts, bucking the national trend

Black and minority ethnic people in Central Bedfordshire are more likely to be employed than their white counterparts, contrary to the national trend.
Black and minority ethnic people in Central Bedfordshire are more likely to be employed than their white counterparts, contrary to the national trend.

Black and minority ethnic people in Central Bedfordshire are more likely to be employed than their white counterparts, contrary to the national trend.

Some 92% of BAME residents are in work, according to the Office for National Statistics.

For white people in Central Bedfordshire, the employment rate is 81%.

Across Britain, BAME adults are less likely to be in work than white adults.

The employment rate is the percentage of 16 to 64-year-olds that are in full or part time work.

The latest figures show there are an estimated 14,900 BAME people and 161,600 white people in Central Bedfordshire in that age range.

Of those, 13,700 BAME adults are in work, compared with 130,100 white adults.

Runnymede Trust director Dr Omar Khan said part of the national gap is down to hiring discrimination.

A recent Oxford University report showed that BAME jobseekers with the same qualifications as their white counterparts have to send 60% more applications to get an interview.

Dr Khan said: "Over the past two decades many ethnic minority groups have reduced the educational attainment gap, but these better qualifications are still not translating in the labour market.

"If you can't or don't progress any of your ethnic minority staff, you're a bad manager. That should be reflected in your appraisal, pay and responsibilities.

"We need to consider tougher measures to tackle discrimination directly, and hold out for greater penalties for employers who fail to improve."

Employment minister Alok Sharma said more needs to be done to level the playing field.

Mr Sharma said: "I am pleased that under this government the ethnic minority employment rate is at a record high. But there is much more to do.

"Where there were differences in representation, participation or achievement across ethnic minorities, we have been challenged to explain them - or change them.

"I have announced the roll-out of a nationwide mentoring initiative, designed to help jobseekers build their networks and get the work they want."