How place influences employment outcomes for ethnic minorities

JRF-logoThis research looks at the influence of location on employment for ethnic minorities, asking why ethnic minority people fare disproportionately worse in the labour market in areas of high deprivation.

It examines the roles of culture, racism and class, and of familial, community and state support in affecting employment outcomes. It found that: Racism in education and employment varies by locality, contributing to differences in outcome by location.

Key points

  • Racism in education and employment varies by locality, contributing to differences in outcome by place.
  • Knowledge of education and labour market systems, and how to negotiate them, affects employment outcomes. Social segregation and migration tend to reduce knowledge and negotiating ability, leading to differing employment outcomes by place.
  • Whilst social segregation may provide support, it can also reduce employment performance, limiting social networks and inhibiting labour market knowledge. For some ethnic groups, segregation reinforces cultural norms of women’s role as nurturer rather than breadwinner. Self-employment appeared to exacerbate social segregation, especially where labour was limited to family.
  • There was some evidence that the relative size of ethnic minority groups in a locality might affect employment outcomes, with local policies likely to serve the largest ethnic minority group. This would contribute to differences in employment outcomes by place and should be explored further.
  • The extent to which education policies support all groups to benefit equally from education and careers support varies with place and differences in outcomes by ethnicity and migrant history result.
  • Providers of educational, careers and employment services need to reduce variations in access to services. Appropriate approaches may or may not be targeted at or tailored towards specific groups by ethnicity. However, it will be important to monitor by ethnicity how well key groups are served, particularly if the approach is not targeted.

To open the full report please click here.

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