Updated: Wednesday, 1st October 2014 @ 6:25pm

Ethnic minorities in Britain face social barriers even when better qualified, says Manchester university study

Ethnic minorities in Britain face social barriers even when better qualified, says Manchester university study

| By Mike Taylor

Ethnic minorities in Britain continue to face social barriers even when they are better qualified than their white peers, according to a study from the University of Manchester.

Researchers concluded that despite ‘significant’ improvements in the levels of educational attainment, minorities struggle to enjoy the levels of social mobility of their White British peers.

In secondary education, Chinese, Indian, Irish, Bangladeshi and Black African students are now outperforming their White British classmates by obtaining five or more GSCEs.

This was reflected by an increase in access to university, with the most disadvantaged groups – Pakistani and Bangladeshi – quadrupling their rates of degree level qualifications.

But, Dr Laurence Brown, of The University of Manchester, who contributed to the report, said: “Very few of these gains in education have translated into employment outcomes.

“Routes to social mobility for ethnic minorities have traditionally been further education and public sector employment, but over the past 20 years, these opportunities have significantly diminished.”

The Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) found that, while more of Britain’s ethnic minorities are working in clerical, professional and managerial jobs, no such improvement has been made in the labour market.

Dr Brown also highlighted the concern over the proportion of ethnic minority populations living in the country’s most deprived neighbourhoods.

It was found that 20% of Black African, Black Caribbean, and Arab populations live in these areas, compared to just 8% of the White British population.

Similar ethnic disparities were found in statistics regarding working families in poverty and low income earnings.

Dr Brown added: “The need for new routes to mobility is crucial given the over-exposure of ethnic minorities to deprivation and poverty in Britain.

“That is why finding new ways of enabling social mobility is a fundamental issue which needs to be tackled by policy makers.”

The research, led by Professors James Nazroo, Anthony Heath and Yaojun Li, is now set to be presented to the House of Lords.

Image courtesy of bpsusf, with thanks.