BAME employee deficit
A North Wales council needs to do more to increase the diversity of its workforce, equalities campaigners said.
A report into Conwy council highlighted a lack of new recruits from black, asian, minority ethnic (BAME) communities.
Only 1.3% (81) of more than 6,100 staff at Conwy council come from a BAME background according to its own monitoring information. People from those groups make up around 2.3% of the county’s population.
To reflect the demographic of the county properly, the council would need to have 141 workers from ethnic minorities.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission said the figures showed councils had work to do.
The figures, collated between April 2018 and March 2019, show the authority still has some way to go to mirror the county’s population.
They further reveal only 0.5% of 470 positions available were filled from BAME communities. That equates to less than two-and-a-half full-time staff members.
The report, presented to Conwy council’s Finance and Resource scrutiny committee on Monday, also showed women take up the lion’s share of casual and part-time posts within the authority.
More than 2,000 positions were classed as casual, with women taking up 77% of them. Females made up three-quarters of the total permanent and casual workforce.
They also fill almost nine out of 10 part-time positions. More than half of all roles within the authority (52%) are part-time.
A little more than half of all men working for the council (53%) earned £16,000 or less during 2018-19, but seven out of 10 women failed to earn that much.
In all 3168 applications were received for 470 advertised positions, with 43% of internal applicants being successful. Only 2.7% of those applicants were employed, although the number of people from outside the organisation who applied for jobs was far greater.
More applications for jobs were received from disabled people and 15 were appointed – fewer than last year.
Of 521 leavers, 396 left the council voluntarily and 125 (24%) left involuntarily – either dismissed or had reached the end of their contracts.
An Equality and Human Rights Commission spokesperson said: “It’s crucial that organisations reflect the diversity of our society.
“These figures clearly demonstrate the need for improvement at pace across the public sector in Wales.
“Positive action measures bring benefits to an organisation, including a wider pool of talented, skilled and experienced people from which to recruit and a better understanding of the needs of people living in the area.”
The council said it would “review the reasons for the apparent lower number of appointments for BME staff”, as well as disabled applicants, and “consider the reasons for this and any appropriate actions”.
The report will need to be approved by cabinet later this month.
By Jez Hemming – Local Democracy Reporter
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