During August and September 2020, GREC conducted a survey to gather feedback from people with protected characteristics to feed into Aberdeen City Council (ACC)’s Equality Outcomes. The survey was complemented by a series of focus groups held in October and November, which also supported the development of Aberdeen’s Health & Social Care Partnership (ACHSCP) Equality Outcomes. In total, over 200 people took part.
Among working-age survey participants (143), the employment rate was 68% for ethnic minorities –slightly lower than the average of 71% for all participants. One of the main findings was that more than half of participants from ethnic minority communities felt that their access to employment was restricted by at least one protected characteristic – and a significant number had two or more overlapping protected characteristics.
Feedback from the focus groups indicated that ethnic minority communities, especially African communities, felt there was ongoing discrimination relating to employment. There were different opinions on whether the origin of this discrimination was personal, institutional or systemic – but all participants agreed that it had a negative impact on people’s lives.
EU nationals felt they were disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, given that most had come to Aberdeen for work, and many struggled in terms of employment and finances. Participants also mentioned that those without good English proficiency were experiencing further problems to access support during the pandemic, as all advice was provided through the phone.