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
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
'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
'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.
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'