Ethnic minority graduates still facing jobs gap - study

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Black, Asian and minority-ethnic people (BAME) face a jobs gap and pay "penalty" despite an increase in the number obtaining degrees, a study shows.

The Resolution Foundation analysis found that the proportion of working-age people with degrees had increased across all ethnic groups in recent decades, from 12% in 1996-99 to 30% in 2014-17.

The proportion of working-age Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi people with degrees has more than trebled since the end of the 1990s to their current levels of 50, 30 and 25% respectively.

Over the same period, the proportion of white people with degrees has also increased but less rapidly, rising from 12 to 28%.

But the think tank said there was a long way to go before progress on educational attainment fully fed through to the labour market, with graduates of all BAME groups facing a jobs gap compared with white people with degrees.

The analysis revealed that despite strong employment growth in recent years, Bangladeshi and Pakistani graduates are around 12% less likely to be in work than white British graduates, and that Indian and Black Caribbean graduates have a jobs gap of around 5%

Kathleen Henehan, policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: "The rising share of people going to university is a well known British success story of recent decades.

"The progress made by black and ethnic minority groups is astounding, with the share of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi graduates trebling in less than 20 years.

"But despite this success, graduates from a black and ethnic minority background still face significant employment and pay penalties in the workforce. These labour market disadvantages are a big living standards concern and mean we risk failing to make the most of the investment made in their education."