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Race Equalities Taskforce

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Race Equalities Taskforce

Race Equalities Taskforce

The West Midlands Race Equalities Taskforce has been launched to take action that will improve equality of opportunity for all of our communities.

It will work towards the vision that in the West Midlands, ethnicity, race and heritage should never be obstacles to people having a fair start in life, or the opportunity for people to reach their full potential and flourish.

Why a Taskforce?

The Taskforce will work with a wide range of public bodies, businesses and communities to find and deliver new ways to tackle race inequality.

It will focus on making changes in the policy areas where the Combined Authority and our partners have the most responsibility and impact, including:

  • the economy and jobs
  • skills and education
  • transport and connectivity
  • housing and homelessness
  • health and wellbeing
  • the criminal justice system

Meet the Taskforce

Chaired by Yetunde Dania, who is Partner and Head of Office at international law firm Trowers and Hamlins, the Taskforce will bring together around 30 leaders who represent different sectors, areas of expertise, places and communities across the West Midlands. 

17 independent members have been appointed to the Taskforce through an open recruitment campaign.  They will be joined by representatives from key public bodies across the region, to make sure that the Taskforce has the reach and influence it needs to make an impact. 

Addressing inequality

The challenge facing the Taskforce is to tackle deep-rooted inequality in the West Midlands. People from different ethnic groups experience different social, economic and health outcomes. Disparities are complex and layered onto strategic challenges facing the West Midlands.

The West Midlands is the second most ethnically diverse region in the country, with 66% of people identifying as White British compared to 80.5% nationally.

The WMCA metropolitan area has high levels of deprivation and minority ethnic people are more likely to live in the most deprived parts of the region. Nationally, twice as many minority ethnic people live in deprived areas - 1 in 3 people from Black and Pakistani groups compared to 1 in 12 White British people.

The race pay gap in the West Midlands is higher than the majority of English regions at 9.5%, with very large gaps for some groups, such as Bangladeshi and Pakistani people. The WMCA Health of the Region Report found unemployment rates among ethnic minority groups were double that of White groups, at 11% and 5%.

The West Midlands has the highest rate of non-White groups who are not in education, employment or training of all English regions at 16.5%. National and regional data shows children in some ethnic groups, particularly White British and Black ethnic groups, fall behind in education between the ages of 11 and 16 years.

Black and minority ethnic people are twice more likely to live in a household with no car ownership which means they are more reliant on public transport and are likely to incur higher transport costs. Minority ethnic people are also more likely to feel unsafe using public transport.

The West Midlands has the highest rate of internet non-users at 21.7% (Indian and White ethnic groups have the lowest percentage of recent users).

Minority ethnic groups are disproportionately likely to face housing deprivation, homelessness, poor housing conditions and overcrowded accommodation. In the West Midlands, 68% of White British households were homeowners compared to 50% of non-White British households. Overcrowding in the region and nationally is four times higher for ethnic minority communities (10%) than White British (2%).

People in ethnic minority groups are more likely to report being in poorer health and to report poorer experiences of using health services than their White counterparts. The West Midlands has high rates of obesity and inactivity, and its most ethnically diverse local authorities have had significant cuts to their public health budgets.

Recent statistics indicate that children from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are over-represented in youth custody; in 2020/21 over 59% of children in youth custody from the West Midlands were recorded as being 'BAME'.

People from ethnic minority groups were more likely to be affected by both the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.