The Equality and Human Rights Commission this week launches its good practice guidelines to increase employment and local business opportunities created by the London 2012 Olympics.

The Commission will be encouraging organisations involved in delivering the Games, to achieve the standards of good practice set out in the guidance, and where possible exceed those targets to become an exemplar organisation.

The Commission has looked specifically at employment and local business opportunities created by London 2012, and at the legacy promised to some of the most deprived communities in Britain. The five host boroughs all fall within the top third of most deprived boroughs in London and are in the top 45 nationally. The £9 billion of investment from the games has the potential to reduce the persistent inequalities many of those communities face.

Research undertaken by the Commission, and evidence gathered for its Inquiry into discrimination in the construction industry, showed that women, disabled people and ethnic minority groups are significantly under-represented in employment and access to business opportunities.

Ethnic minority communities have a higher rate of self-employment and business start-ups yet they face persistent barriers to obtaining procurement contracts. 1 2

The Good practice guidelines state that:

•Procurement policy: Buyers should consider equality and diversity and ensure they have the processes in place to monitor equality and diversity practice throughout the supply chain.
•Employment and training: The Public Sector Duty requires those companies that are subject to the Duty to have transparent and effective employment policies that promote equality. The processes used to recruit and manage employees are fair and offer equal opportunity. This cannot be achieved without a consistent approach to data collection and analysis.
•The current focus of work in the Olympic Park is in the construction sector. Nationally only three per cent of the construction workforce is from an ethnic minority, with around one per cent of the ‘trades’ workforce being women (ConstructionSkills).
The Commission is working with the construction industry to address the findings of its Race in the Construction Industry inquiry. The Commission has produced an Action Plan setting out the areas identified as high priority3 and is developing a Construction Leadership Forum (CLDF), to be launched in June 2010. The Forum will be a coordinating body that will provide a clear sense of direction on equality and diversity and monitor progress.

Simon Woolley, Commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission said: “The London 2012 Good Practice Guidelines provides a coherent framework on the areas of employment and procurement and I look forward to seeing the equality outcomes for some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK”.