Fresh Talent Initiative Briefing
part of UNISON's on going campaign opposing racism and promoting race and equality
awareness, this briefing looks at the Scottish Executive's Fresh Talent Initiative
and Race Equality Scheme. UNISON Scotland wholeheartedly welcomes both of these
New Scots: Attracting
Fresh Talent to Meet the Challenge of Growth
The First Minister launched
the Fresh Talent Initiative in February 2003. It is aimed at attracting people
from the UK and overseas to live and work in Scotland. As a nation that has traditionally
exported people to all corners of the world, Scotland is keen to extend a welcome
to skilled individuals who wish to come here to further their careers and quality
of life. A population in decline
is falling and it is declining at a faster rate than anywhere else in Europe.
This decline is coupled with a significant shift in Scotland's age profile.
- By 2009 Scotland's population will fall below the symbolic
5 million mark.
- By 2027 there could be a quarter
of a million fewer people of working age in Scotland.
The key aims of the Fresh Talent Initiative are:
- Retaining home-grown talent within Scotland,
Scots who have moved away to come back home,
attracting some who are completely new to Scotland.
Fresh Talent Initiative includes measures such as:
with work permits
- Visa extensions for overseas
students wishing to stay in Scotland after graduation
establishment of a Relocation Advice Service by October 2004
Relocation Advice Service will provide the following services for people and Companies:
- Advice on applying for and processing visas and work permits,
both for employers and prospective employees such as students;
for entrepreneurs, including ethnic minority entrepreneurs, who want to set up
a business and information on how to go about it
on jobs schools universities, housing and transport for individuals and families
considering moving to Scotland.
benefited in the past from waves of migration, from Ireland, Italy, central Europe
and Pakistan. The Executive is keen to maintain that diversity. The Executive
has set up an implementation team to develop policy proposals on 'Fresh Talent'
over the coming months.
A Warm Scottish Welcome
many parts of the UK, Scotland has much to offer people locating including:
- Good and reasonably priced housing,
- Good communications and transport
- Easy access to the countryside and leisure facilities
has a unique selling point, we are known as one of the most friendly and educated
peoples in the world. Through the Fresh Talent Initiative the Executive is encouraging
skilled people from other countries to live and work in Scotland, as well as supporting
efforts to retain native Scots who wish to begin, or to further, their careers
in this country.
Working Together for Race Equality
of Stephen Lawrence in 1993, and the following inquiry set up by the Home Secretary
in 1997, led to key changes in people's understanding of good race relations in
Britain. In his response to the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report, the Home Secretary
promised to strengthen race legislation. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000,
which strengthens the Race Relations Act 1976, is a direct result of that commitment.
The amended Race Relations Act gives most public authorities a general duty to
promote race equality. The duty's aim is to make race equality a central part
of the way public authorities work, by putting it at the centre of policy making,
service delivery, and employment practice. Under the general duty, authorities
must have 'due regard to the need to':
- Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination
equal opportunities, and
- Promote good relations between people from different
The general duty is supported by a series of specific
duties. The specific duties are not ends in themselves but provide the steps,
methods or arrangements public authorities should follow to help them meet the
general duty. One of the specific duties is to publish a race equality scheme
(RES) by 31 May 2002.
(Please refer to P& I Team briefings 19 &33)
is a race equality scheme (RES)?
A RES is effectively a strategy, and
a timetabled and realistic action plan. It should summarise a public authority's
approach to race equality and its corporate aims. It should also say how the authority
plans to carry out each part of the specific duty, in other words, its arrangements
- Assessing, consulting on, and monitoring its functions and policies
for any adverse impact on promoting race equality;
- Publishing the results;
sure the public have access to its services; and
- Training staff.
Scottish Executive's RES
The Scottish Executive published
its Race Equality Scheme on 29th November 2002. Its purpose is to ensure
that as an organisation, they are doing all they can to eliminate any
discrimination and to promote race equality. The scheme was a legal requirement
made under the Race Relations Act 1976 (Statutory Duties) (Scotland) Order 2002.
The Executive's scheme sets out how they will meet their statutory requirements.
It shows that:
- Policies and functions have been
subject to a robust assessment of their impact on the promotion of race equality;
will be carried out in ways that avoid racial discrimination and will engage actively
with minority ethnic people, communities and groups;
of the impact of their functions and policies will be much more sensitive to their
effect on race equality;
- Publishing of the results
of consultation, reviews and reports will reflect the relevance to the promotion
of race equality;
- Access to information and
services provided by the Executive will become increasingly sensitive to the needs
of ethnic minority people;
- Training to staff
and of those responsible for their training will be done in ways that support
their commitment to promoting race equality
produce an annual race equality scheme based on their Action Plans.
Scottish Executive published their first Race Equality Scheme Annual Report in
March 2004. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and the related Scottish Order
encourages public authorities to carry out their functions and make their polices
in ways that eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and
good race relations.
The Executive will be working closely
with the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), Audit Scotland and Her Majesty's
Inspectorates to ensure the effective development and implementation of robust
and workable systems for assessing the impact and performance of duties placed
on public authorities in Scotland.
Action for Branches
briefing is intended to update members on these initiatives. As part of UNISON's
commitment on opposing racism we will continue to publish anti-racist and race
Branches should also raise with their
employers what practical action they are taking to support these initiatives.
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