Bristol City Council tackles 'under-representation'

Bristol City Council says that restricting a two-year apprenticeship scheme to candidates from black or ethnic minority backgrounds is necessary to tackle “under-representation” of BME candidates.

Bristol City Council says that restricting a two-year apprenticeship scheme to candidates from black or ethnic minority backgrounds is necessary to tackle “under-representation” of BME candidates.

The council has prevented white candidates from applying for the £18,000-a-year traineeship.

A spokesperson said: “This is the third year of running the traineeship, started because of the marked under-representation of BME people in the council’s workforce. Seven per cent of our staff are BME compared to 12% of the city population, and the figure is even lower at management grades.

“The normal recruitment process was not rectifying this unacceptably low trend, so there was a strong case for this small positive recruitment traineeship for two BME graduates a year, as set out by section 37 of the Race Relations Act 1976.

The council employs more than 9,000 people, excluding school staff. It also runs an apprenticeship programme for the under-24s and says it has placed 62 so far.

“This is a training position, at the end of the two years there is no guarantee of work and the successful candidates would have to apply for a job with the council in the usual way on the open market.”

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