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Diversity ‘could boost economy by £24bn’

INVESTMENT: Giving BAME workers more opportunities ‘is in the interests of the country’

GIVING BLACK and other ethnic minority employees the same opportunities as white workers would boost the economy by £24 billion, according to the Government’s new industrial strategy.

That is how much would be added to the economy if ethnic minority workers had a fair deal. The Government’s new 254- page strategy, published by Prime Minister Theresa May and Business Secretary Greg Clark, highlights a study which found the UK’s economy would grow significantly if people from ethnic minorities were able to “fully participate” when it came to applying for jobs and getting promotions.

The strategy says: “Our economy is missing out on the untapped potential this represents for employers.” It adds: “The potential benefit to the UK economy from full representation of black and minority ethnic workers, through improved participation and progression, at £24bn a year.”

The strategy highlights a new policy put in place by chartered accountants PwC, which looked at how much it paid staff from different backgrounds and published the results. PwC found that it paid staff the same amount if they were doing the same jobs, but there was a pay gap because it had more black and minority ethnic staff in junior administrative roles than it would expect, and fewer in senior management.

As a result, it drew up policies to help retain black and minority ethnic talent and improve rates of progression to senior management levels. The industrial strategy also revealed the economy would grow if more women were working, and highlighted the announcement of £5 million earlier this year to support people to return to work after time out caring, such as looking after young children.

It said the Government would work with employers to make flexible working more available, and would soon publish plans designed to get one million more disabled people in employment in the UK by 2027.

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