Christina McKelvie MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse has welcomed funding for a raft of projects aimed at making workplaces more accessible to previously excluded groups including older people and those with disabilities.
Thirteen projects to boost inclusivity and diversity at work have successfully applied to the Workplace Equality Fund.
Administered by Advice Direct Scotland, recipients will now receive government grants to address long-standing barriers in the labour market.
They include the Diversity Works programme by Adopt an Intern in partnership with Edinburgh-based Aegon Asset Management to improve the career progression for women and minority ethnic workers.
Successful organisations also include Perth Autism Support’s project to help autistic individuals secure and retain employment and PATH Scotland’s leadership programme for BAME employees of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Another recipient is the Voices for Change programme which aims to elevate the
voices of women and disabled people in workplaces.
It is being delivered by NHS Dumfries and Galloway in partnership with the charity DG Voice and the Violence Against Women and Girls subcommittee of Dumfries and Galloway Public Protection Partnership.
The fund, which was first launched by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in 2018, is designed to ensure that everyone – irrespective of gender, age, race, or disability – can fulfil their potential and improve Scotland’s economic performance as a result.
The Fair Work Framework sets out what fair work means in Scotland, offering all individuals an effective voice, opportunity, security, fulfilment, and respect.
It is being used to fund projects that are focused on one or more priority groups such as women, minority ethnic workers, disabled workers and workers aged over 50.
Other priority groups include people who experience gender-based violence, workers who are experiencing social isolation and/or loneliness, and workers experiencing symptoms of the menopause.
Earlier this year, Advice Direct Scotland encouraged charities, third sector organisations, public sector organisations and private sector businesses to apply through its equalityadvice.scot service.
A total of 55 applications were received, with 13 schemes now selected to receive funding.
Commenting Christina said:
“The Workplace Equality Fund is already benefitting Scottish businesses and organisations striving to remove barriers to promote a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Here in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse the Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST) in partnership with Radiant and Brighter have been awarded a grant to train 50 or more senior leaders.
“This project aims to develop and embed diversity and inclusion in the construction industry, with a particular focus on minority ethnic workers. And this is just one example of the positive work that is being undertaken thanks to the Workplace Equality Fund.
“Other organisations granted funding included projects aimed at improving awareness of Menopause, Disability and Neurodiversity in the workplace.
“Since 2018 the Workplace Equality Fund has delivered more than £1.8 million of funding to 58 projects across Scotland.”
More information on the Workplace Equality Fund: https://equalityadvice.scot/