Sajid Javid to head anti-racism taskforce

Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid is to lead a cross-government taskforce focused on improving the life chances of non-white Britons, as new figures reveal that one in five people claiming jobseeker’s allowance is from an ethnic minority.

Related: Workplace racism is on the rise – we need action, not lip service | Afua Hirsch

The business secretary called on businesses to do more to support the careers of black and minority ethnic (BME) workers. “These troubling figures highlight just how difficult it can be to find a job if you’re from a minority background,” Javid said, saying that the taskforce would be focused on how to ensure people fulfilled their potential.

Others statistics suggest that BME employment is 62.7% – well below the 75.4% for white employees. For Bangladeshi workers that falls to just 55%.

Javid pointed out that while one in 10 employed people came from a BME background, only one in 16 of top management positions and one in 13 management positions were held from people from these groups. “This is despite independent research undertaken by McKinsey showing that companies with the highest rates of ethnic diversity in senior management were 35% more likely to outperform their industry counterparts.”

The business secretary will be joined in the taskforce by Priti Patel, the employment minister, who said more had to be done to improve the situation.

The government also published the terms of reference for a review of the situation byLady Ruby McGregor-Smith. “We need to remove the barriers that for so long have restricted BME talent from reaching the most senior levels in business. These actions will deliver long-term economic benefits for the UK,” she said.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Anushka Asthana, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 8th March 2016 20.54 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010