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04 March 2024

#ScotAppWeek24 Blog: Fiaz Khan, CEMVO Scotland

Race equality officer at CEMVO Scotland, Fiaz Khan highlights a partnership with SDS aimed at improving understanding of race equality to support apprenticeship recruitment.

#ScotAppWeek24 Apprenticeships Modern apprenticeships Work-based learning

CEMVO Scotland has been supporting and working with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) over several years around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).

The organisation has specifically assisted with various community engagement events targeting ethnic minority parents and young people.

The aim of these events was for SDS to get a better understanding of perceived barriers faced by ethnic minority young people in reference to apprenticeship. These events also gave SDS an opportunity to engage with parents to promote and raise awareness of opportunities within Modern Apprenticeships to minority ethnic parents.

Employer support

In collaboration, CEMVO and SDS have also created an online learning tool for employers called Race Equality Work Based Learning.

This course can be utilised as part of staff induction, as an equality’s refresher course for existing staff, or for general race-equality awareness raising within an organisation.

The topics covered range from understanding the demographic of Scotland’s ethnic minority population and issues affection ethnic minority communities to exploring direct and indirect, lawful and unlawful discrimination and understanding the legislative and policy landscape for Race/ Equalities so as to help inform organisational policy development. 

Fiaz Khan

This course allows individuals to work at their own pace, take notes, and reflect; requiring the completion of a short test at the end of each section.

CEMVO Scotland is currently assisting in delivering EDI – Race and Cultural Awareness Training to Modern Apprenticeship providers that are currently contracted with SDS. The aim of this training is to raise awareness of current makeup of Ethnic Minority communities across Scotland and with a focus on:

• White Privilege - What does this mean?
• Biases – Conscious and Conscious: Service delivery and Workplace

However, this training is such that it allows Modern Apprenticeship providers to embark on an EDI journey. To become more culturally aware and be mindful of barriers that Ethnic Minority communities face when trying to access mainstream services such as apprenticeships and ensure that they create an environment where all are welcome.

Recently, CEMVO has also joined with other likeminded organisations to be part of a new Focal Point Group on EDI, brought together by SDS.

The overall aim for the Group is to assist SDS to be proactive with regards to embedding equality and, in particular race equality, in all aspects of strategic development and service delivery.

I think this collaborative working is a great idea and, hopefully, with a clear remit we can use our collective experience and knowledge to benefit SDS services.

All employers should embrace Scottish Apprenticeship Week and, more importantly, employers learning should involve understanding race equality in the workplace and the benefits of that in terms of diverse workforce, delivering of services or products. It is very important for employers to understand what the advantages are of having a workforce that is reflective of communities that they serve.

Morally, all employers should not create an environment where people feel discriminated against either in the workplace or when accessing services. It also makes good business sense for having a diverse workforce especially when you are in the business of selling products and trying to attract new customers.

Find out more

More information about the work of CEMVO Scotland is available on its website.

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