Equality and Investment in City Region and Growth Deals

Chris Oswald, Equality and Investment Policy Manager, Scottish Government

Promoting Inclusive Growth and creating opportunity through a fair and inclusive jobs market and regional cohesion is one of the 4 priorities of the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy. This focus on employment as a means of advancing equality and reducing poverty is also reflected in Scottish Government strategies and delivery frameworks for women, disabled people and ethnic minorities.

The Scottish Government has been working in partnership with the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) since 2016 to promote equality in City & Regional Deals. This is reflected in the conditions of the annual offer letter from the Scottish Government to CRD grant recipients,

The Regional Partners will work with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and others to explore opportunities to maximise the impact of the Programme to allow the benefits of growth to be shared by all and to advance overall equality of opportunity under the Equality Act 2010 including the new socio-economic duty that came into force in April 2018.

Over the next 18 months Chris Oswald, who has been seconded to the Scottish Government from the EHRC will be working with Regional Partners to

• Assist them to develop their equality plans and outcomes,
• Conduct Equality & Fairer Scotland Impact Assessments of their proposals
• Translate these proposals into clear Procurement plans, and
• Monitor and evaluate their equality outcomes effectively.

Support will be offered on a generic and bespoke basis. The SCRIG website will be used as the primary information portal for the project. Papers are currently being prepared for an October launch for this work.

The project will focus on the intersections between poverty and protected characteristics. Both disabled people and ethnic minorities face higher levels of unemployment and poverty, whilst women face significant levels of occupational segregation in key sectors of the Scottish economy. The project will assist CRDs ensure outcomes are inclusive for all and address barriers to entry and progression within the employment market. This has implications for a range of current Scottish Government priorities on child care, accessible transport, pregnancy discrimination and skills acquisition. It also links to the Scottish Governments focus on Fair Work First and securing equality outcomes for investments.

This work builds on successful engagement from the EHRC and CRD partners between 2017 -19.

Keep an eye out for further posts in this series coming soon or contact Chris Oswald to hear more.