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Last Updated: Friday, 15 April, 2005, 05:00 GMT 06:00 UK
Minorities 'lose out on training'
Ethnic minority staff
The TUC wants legislation to ensure equal access to training
Racism at work is continuing to damage the career prospects of many workers in the UK, say trade unions.

A TUC report claims ethnic minority workers received less training than white colleagues despite often being better qualified.

Some 31% had never been offered training compared to 29% of white workers - though 28% had a degree, while only 20% of whites had.

The TUC wants for laws to require equal access to training for all workers.

"Racism at work is still preventing too many black workers from fulfilling their potential," TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said.

The report, Workplace Training - a Race for Opportunity, is based on data from the Labour Force Survey, a three-monthly official sample poll of respondents' personal circumstances and their labour market status.

TUC researchers found male workers of Bangladeshi descent were most affected, with only 49% saying they had ever been offered work-related training.

People of Pakistani origin also reported difficulties in accessing training.


There was also division according to industrial sector, the study found. In manufacturing nearly half (48%) of ethnic minority employees said that they had never been offered training compared to 37% of white employees.

However, in the public sector ethnic minorities' training chances were broadly similar to those of their white colleagues.

Just 15% of those working in the public sector workers said they had never been offered training, compared to 37% in the private sector.

Union membership also had an effect on work prospects, researchers said - with only 16% of ethnic minority workers who belonged to a union saying they had never been offered training, compared to 36% of non-union members.

The report is published as the TUC's Black Workers' conference opens in Southport, Lancashire, on Friday.

Keynote speakers include Home Office minister Fiona McTaggart and former TGWU leader Sir Bill Morris.

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