The £18,000 council job you can’t apply for if you are white
By Daily Mail Reporter
UPDATED: 10:25, 2 June 2010
A council has been accused of discrimination after white people were barred from applying for two £18,000-a-year jobs.
Bristol City has created the management training posts for graduates in an effort to recruit more minority employees.
As a result the council will only accept applications from ethnic minorities for the two-year placements.
But this has prompted criticism from white graduates struggling to find work.
One jobseeker, who did not wish to be named, described the posts as ‘totally racist’. He said: ‘I am a tolerant white person who has lived in Bristol for 27 years.
‘I am searching for a job and stumbled across a job advertisement on Bristol City Council’s website that I see as totally racist. ‘I feel the job would be an excellent opportunity for me to make use of the skills and qualifications that I have acquired but, being white, I am excluded.
‘Equal opportunities means giving everyone an equal chance to succeed rather than discriminating against people because of the colour of their skin.’
The two jobs are described on BCC’s website as ‘open to black and minority ethnic graduates’ only, with applications closing on June 11.
The job description reads: ‘We are looking for two enthusiastic graduates with a degree in any discipline to undertake a two-year management training programme at Bristol City Council.
‘You should have a strong interest in the delivery of local public services, be able to take the initiative and have the confidence to relate to people at all levels within the Council.
‘The traineeship will involve rotating placements in different services of the City Council where you will be where you will be given ‘on the job’ training and undertake projects including policy and research work.
‘You will need to be flexible and able to learn quickly in changing environments. The successful candidates will be offered a postgraduate diploma in Management Studies, a tax free training allowance and mentoring and support throughout the traineeship.’
Bristol council has 9,000 members of staff, not including teachers, of which 630, or seven per cent, are from ethnic minorities.
Because 12 per cent of Bristol residents come from minority backgrounds the council has begun trying to redress this imbalance.
A spokesman for the council said advertising ethnic minority-only posts was allowed under race relations legislation. He said: ‘This traineeship was started because of the marked under-representation of ethnic minorities in our workforce.
‘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 ethnic minority graduates a year.
‘We have a workforce of more than 9,000 employees, excluding school staff, so this is a small training programme.
‘Graduates from any ethnic background are open to apply for the national graduate local government programme which we recruit from every year – we have just recruited two graduates in this way.
‘We also run a successful apprenticeship programme for the under-24s – so far we have placed 62 to date. And of course there are a range of jobs advertised externally via our website, which graduates can apply for.
‘It is also worth remembering that 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.’
‘The Race Relations Act 1976 states that if a racial group is under-represented councils can offer training to individuals from that group.
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