Page last updated at 20:06 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 21:06 UK

'Racism' CV project cost 170,000

Woman filling in job application
The practice is known as "matched CV testing"

A project which involved sending out fake CVs in a bid to expose racism cost the taxpayer almost £170,000, the government has acknowledged.

As part of the scheme, civil servants submitted false job applications to see if employers discriminated against foreign-sounding names.

Employment Minister Jim Knight said in written answers it would cost £168,700.

He said this had been for "fieldwork, analysis of data and the production of the final report".

In several written answers to Tory Peter Luff, chair of the Commons Business Select Committee, Mr Knight said the application forms and CVs had been sent out between November 2008 and May 2009.

Mr Knight said the practice, known as "matched CV testing", had been recommended by the Business Commission on Race Equality "to measure progress towards eliminating the ethnic minority employment gap".

It was commissioned by the Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force (EMETF) after the chancellor approved the recommendation.

Mr Knight added that example copies of the fake CVs would be placed in the Commons library when the report was published in the autumn.

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