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FIRE BRIGADES: 7% EMPLOYMENT TARGETS FOR ETHNIC MINORITY STAFF SET OUT

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Fire, prison, probation and immigration services are to recruit and ...
Fire, prison, probation and immigration services are to recruit and

retain more black and Asian staff under new targets set by home

secretary Jack Straw.

The national recruitment target will be for a minimum seven per cent

ethnic minority representation.

Locally, organisations will be expected to reflect the ethnic

minority population of their geographical area.

Target setting forms a key part of the home secretary's determination

to ensure home office services better reflect the communities they

serve and as a result serve them better.

Increased ethnic minority representation in all its services -

including senior management - will help ensure the home office

becomes a 'beacon of good practice within the public sector'.

The targets include:

- increasing the uniformed fire service representation in England and

Wales from 1% (present level) to 7%, resulting in more than 3,000

ethnic minority fire fighters in the next ten years;

- increasing the number of ethnic minority prison service staff from

3.2% to 7%;

- Home office senior civil service to increase it's ethnic minority

representation from 1.6% (present level) to 3.2% by 2004/5;

- ensuring that ethnic minority staff do not leave the organisation

at a rate greater than white staff and that promotion opportunities

follow similar patterns;

Jack Straw said:

'Targets - not quotas - for the recruitment, retention and career

progression of black and Asian staff into core services forms a key

part of the government's strategy to develop a more inclusive

society.

'I believe targets give managers a goal to aim at and something the

organisation can measure its progress against. Targets help focus the

mind and ensure strategies are developed within which milestones can

be set and progress monitored.

'They will help these public service organisations be more

representative of the communities they serve. I am determined to

ensure the home office becomes a beacon of good practice across the

public sector.

'Only by clearly demonstrating that the civil service is modernising

and that the public sector is getting its own house in order, can we

convince people that we mean what we say.'

The targets for the fire, prison, probation and immigration services

and for the home office itself complement those already set for each

of the police forces in April this year.

NOTES

Copies of a paper - Race Equality - The Home Secretary's

Employment Targets - containing current representation of ethnic

minorities in the fire, probation, prison, police and immigration

services and the targets for each, can be obtained from LGCnet on 0171 8337324/5. The document will also be on the home office web page at www.homeoffice.gov.uk

Copies can be obtained from the Home Office Race Equality Unit on 0171 273 4487.

A circular detailing Fire Service recruitment targets, sent to brigades on 8 June, is available from the Home Office Fire Policy Unit, Horseferry House, HorseferryRoad, London SW1.

* see LGCnet 30/7/99 'LONDON FIRE BRIGADE HIGHLIGHTS PROBLEMS OF INSTITUTIONALISED RACISM'

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