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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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£800k fund awarded to Scottish workplaces to boost inclusivity and diversity

 

The funding will be administered by Scotland’s national advice charity. 

Projects aimed at making workplaces more accessible to previously excluded groups including older people and those with disabilities are among a raft of initiatives to receive government-backed equality funding. 

Thirteen projects to boost inclusivity and diversity at work have successfully applied to the Scottish Government’s Workplace Equality Fund, driving forward Scotland’s Fair Work Framework. 

Administered by charity Advice Direct Scotland, recipients will now receive grants to address long-standing barriers in the labour market. 

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.

Conor Forbes, director of policy with Advice Direct Scotland, said: “We are proud to have worked with the Scottish Government to deliver this important fund.  

“This initiative acts as a source of financial support for Scottish businesses and organisations that are striving to improve equality-related outcomes for priority groups in the workplace.   

“As an inclusive and progressive organisation with a diverse workforce, Advice Direct Scotland understands how valuable this is.  

“The 13 successful applicants include a range of inspiring projects designed to increase diversity and inclusion in a variety of different sectors, all around Scotland.   

“The Workplace Equality Fund will support employers to address and resolve long-standing barriers facing under-represented groups within the labour market and will help to promote and embed principles of inclusivity and fairness within Scotland’s workplaces.” 

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 54 applications were received, with 13 schemes now selected to receive funding.   

These include Cornerstone’s Menopause Awareness Project, 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.   

Successful organisations also include Age Scotland, for its project around age inclusion for people, managers and key influencers, and the Scottish Refugee Council’s scheme to help refugees develop careers in social care. 

Mike Douglas, Age Scotland’s director of social enterprise, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to the Scottish Government for their ongoing support for our age inclusive workplaces services. 

"Our most recent work has highlighted that much of the ageism experienced by older workers happens through interactions with their line managers. In order for organisations to be as age-inclusive as possible, the skills of their people managers are key. 

"To help them achieve this we are aiming to work with 1,500 line managers and key influencers over the next two years to help them better understand the needs and challenges faced by their older workers so they can offer them the best possible support, and ultimately maximise their experience, value and potential.  

 “We have a rapidly ageing population and a growing older workforce who can offer huge amounts to organisations, the economy and society, and by being able to make the necessary adjustments and provide better support for people with caring responsibilities, health conditions, or when exploring flexible working options, everyone benefits and will help considerably with retaining these valuable workers.”

 

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