Black and Asian graduates are missing out on the top roles

Black, Asian and minority ethnic graduates are two and a half times more likely to be unemployed than white graduates according to new research from the TUC.

It said the unemployment rate for white workers with degrees is 2.3% but for BAME graduates this rises to 5.9%.

BAME workers with A-level equivalents including trade apprenticeships and vocations are 3.2 times more likely to be unemployed than their white counterparts. BAME workers with GCSE equivalents and basic level qualifications are more than twice as likely to be out of work.

The findings come after TUC analysis in February revealed that black workers with degrees are paid nearly a quarter less than their white peers – the equivalent of £4.33 an hour.

“The harsh reality is that even now black and Asian people, regardless of their qualifications and experience, are far more likely to be unemployed and lower paid than white people,” said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady. “Whether they have PhDs or GCSEs, BAME workers have a much tougher time in the jobs market. Not only is this wrong, but it is a huge waste of talent. Companies that only recruit from a narrow base are missing out on the wide range of experiences on offer from Britain’s many different communities.”

She said that the government’s taskforce on racism must make it harder for discriminating employers to get away with their prejudices, and also ensure that far more is done to improve access to the best courses and institutions for BAME young people.

The TUC is calling on the government to recognise the scale of the problem and urgently develop a race equality strategy, with clear targets and adequate resourcing; use public sector contracts to improve companies’ race equality practices; ensure anonymised application forms are used as standard across the public sector, and encourage more private-sector employers to do the same.

They also want employers to be encouraged to monitor the recruitment process for discrimination against BAME applicants and include staff ethnicity figures in annual reports.