Accessing the Labour Market: Race


Glasgow has experienced significant changes in the demographic profile of its residents throughout the past 10 years. More specifically, ethnic minorities have dramatically increased in size, adding to the diversity and culture of the city.

However, these communities appear to experience lower outcomes within the labour market, at a Glasgow, Scotland and UK level. This section explores issues surrounding employment in more detail, but should be viewed in conjunction with:

To provide further context to this priority, we would also recommend examining the data provided within:


Key Facts and Figures: Glasgow and Scotland

The 2011 census highlights significant changes to the population of Glasgow:

  • Glasgow ethnic minorities have increased from 7.2% in 2001, to 15.4% in 2011 (41,900 to 91,600). This is significantly higher than the Scottish average (3.6% to 7.1%)
  • The other white population has increased the highest, +12,600, to 22,900, including 8,400 Polish people.
  • The Pakistani population has increased by 7,075 to 22,405.
  • The Chinese population has increased by 6,813, to 10,689
  • The Indian population has increased by 4,500, to 8,640.

Every ward in Glasgow has experienced an increase in diversity and two thirds of the cities wards are more diverse than Scotland.

Source: Scottish Government. 2014. An Overview of Equality Results from the 2011 census Release 2.

47.7% of the cities ethnic minorities are in employment, significantly less than average for ethnic minority communities in Scotland (56.1%).

Source: Annual Population Survey. 2013. Local Area Labour Market Statistics in Scotland.

In 2011/2012, 28% of minority ethnic groups in Scotland lived in poverty before housing costs, compared to 15% of White-British groups.

In 2011/2012, 24% of people from the Asian/Asian British Group lived in poverty. For the combined ‘Mixed’, ‘Black/Black British’, ‘Chinese’ and ‘Other’ group, the figure was 32%.

Ethnic minorities are nearly twice as likely, to live in poverty than the white population.

Source: Scottish Government. 2014. Poverty and Inequality in Scotland: 2012/2013


Education and Employment

Despite heightened levels of poverty, ethnic minority communities appear to out perform the white population within education, and positive follow on destinations once leaving school.


Subsequently, there appears to be a certain amount of discord between educational attainment and labour market positioning for these social groups.


  White White Other Mixed or Multiple Asian African Other
% in higher education 35.9 38.6 46.8 55.4 49.0 40.3
% in further education 27.5 34.6 27.1 27.5 30.1 31.5
% in training 5.1 3.0 4.2 1.8 4.0 2.2
% in employment 21.1 12.8 14.4 8.0 10.4 9.4
% in positive follow on destination 91.4 91.0 94.4 93.6 95.2 85.6
SDS. Follow Up Destinations by Ethnicity 2012/2013.

Source: Skills Development Scotland. 2014. School Leaver Destinations – Initial Follow up 2012/2013 National Statistics.


  Average Tariff Score
White Scottish 407
White Non-Scottish 427
Mixed or Multiple Ethnicity 446
Asian – Indian 523
Asian – Pakistani 570
Asian – Chinese 643
Other 460
Black/African/Caribbean 431
SG. Tariff Scores by Ethnicity 2012.

Source: Scottish Government. 2013. Summary Statistics for Attainment, Leaver Destinations and Healthy Living. No.3.


  2013 Employment Rate 2013 Economic Inactivity
Ethnic Minority Communities 56.1% 30.7%
Scottish Average 71.0% 23.0%
APS. 2013. Employment Rates and Economic Inactivity 2013.

Source: Annual Population Survey. 2013. Local Area Labour Market Statistics in Scotland.


Despite comprising 4% of the 16-24 population in Scotland, only 2% of modern apprenticeships are filled by BME individuals.

Therefore there appears to be a distinct need to actively promote the modern apprenticeship scheme within BME communities. This could be complimented by publically promoting BME role models who have succeeded within the scheme - increasing the visibility of the programme within this under-represented community.

Furthermore, access to information regarding employment is obtained through both formal and informal routes. Engaging with local community groups, religious bodies and other local organisations may offer an alternative medium of communicating employment opportunities.

Source: EHRC. 2014. Modern Apprenticeships. Equality and Economy: Spreading the Benefits.


In-Work Discrimination

The Ministry of justice highlight that between 2011-2012:

  • 186,300 employment tribunals occurred;
  • 4,800 for race discrimination
  • of which 1,400 were withdrawn,
  • 1,700 settled through ACAS;
  • 400 struck out; 240 dismissed at preliminary hearing
  • 140 successful at hearing; 810 unsuccessful and 24 default judgements.

It should be noted that since July 2013, recent changes to the tribunal system have resulted in the following fees:

  • For Type A claims to be considered, claimants pay an issue fee of £160.
  • Type A claims cover: unpaid wages, payment in lieu of notice, redundancy payments and refusal of time off for antenatal classes.
  • Then at hearing, Type A claimants pay an additional £230.
  • For Type B claims to be considered, claimants pay an issue fee of £250.
  • Type B claims cover: unfair dismissal, discrimination complaints and claims under the Public Information Disclosure Act (whistleblowing).
  • Then at hearing, Type B claimants must pay an additional £950.

Within this, the Ministry of Justice offer a remission scheme which reduces or removes the fee entirely for some people who receive certain benefits or income is below a certain level.

It should be noted that critics of the new payment scheme have argued that it will allow employers to act without fear of repercussions, as the process of making a claim (B) is just under the monthly average salary within the UK

Source: Ministry of Justice. 2013. Employment Tribunal Statistics.



A cross-section of research presents the following issues as barriers to improved employment (in terms of both position & earnings):

  • Lack of opportunity
  • Non-recognition of overseas experience & qualifications
  • English language skills
  • Shortage of BME role models
  • Low staff turnover & reduced middle management posts, due to economic recession.

Further research highlights the need for strategic planning from employers to overcome in-work poverty, through training, nurturing of potential, horizontal job opportunities and adopting the living wage.