Black, qualified and unemployed

Issue date
15 Apr 2016

Young people are told that the level of education they reach is critical to their future success in the labour market. There is an assumption that higher levels of educational attainment will lead to better job prospects and higher wages. This report reveals that
this is not always the experience of black communities.

Previous studies by the TUC and others have revealed a disparity between the educational attainment and labour market position of black people. Recent research undertaken by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) on ethnicity and poverty showed that black and ethnic minority employees tend to have slightly higher educational qualifications than their white counterparts, but that disproportionately more BME workers are overqualified for their jobs. The JRF research also found that for black people educational attainment does not appear to be the main determining factor in employment opportunities and pay levels.

This report, published to coincide with the TUC’s 2016 Black Workers Conference, uses analysis of recent official statistics to show that levels of unemployment are also higher for black workers, regardless of qualification levels.