The Government’s recently-published race audit highlights significant disparity in health, housing and education when it comes to the experiences of those from different cultures living within the UK.
Figures show that black men are nearly three times more likely to be arrested than white men and that black children are excluded from school three times more than their white counterparts. And, before they reach the age of five, Gypsy/Roma children are already three times less likely to be doing well in school.
Rob Dolbear, managing director of relocation specialist HCR, is all too aware of culture and race differences - within the UK and overseas.
“Our role is to ensure our clients’ employees are given the very best start when they relocate to other areas of the world, or from overseas to this country - and making sure they are fully aware of cultural differences is imperative,” he says.
“There is no getting away from the fact that, depending on your race, you may be treated differently, even here in the UK. It shouldn’t be the case, and the Government is taking steps to address this. The race audit shines a light on several key issues, and these must be tackled head on.
“For example, the audit suggests that black, Asian and mixed race women are most likely to experience common mental health disorders. Why is that? It is true to say that women from some cultures are more likely to stay at home than to seek employment - and being less likely to speak English, they face a significant barrier when it comes to integrating into British society. There must be a knock-on effect on their health and wellbeing, and I know this is something Prime Minister Theresa May - and her predecessors - are all too aware of.
“So what can be done? Well, our work at HCR concentrates very much on the spouses and families of those who are relocating, whether our clients’ employees are men or women.
“We focus on ensuring spouses are given every opportunity to find work (if that is their wish), and that they are able to access language courses. If we’re able to fully prepare the entire family fully for their new adventure in the UK or overseas, that paves the way to a successful relocation for all concerned.
“Perhaps it’s time for the Government to do the same - and tackle the issues faced by many people already living in the UK head on. Of course, the challenge is hugely complex, and requires a focussed and sustained campaign if there is to be any hope of reducing the gulf between the experiences of different races. It’s about identifying and then eliminating racial barriers, and at HCR we certainly understand the concept of that…”