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Over £2.6 million Lottery funding to tackle workplace inequality

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Life Transitions
Release date:
14 5 2013

Over £2.6million will be invested in projects helping people facing inequalities in the workplace today (May 14) thanks to Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s latest funding.

Six projects across Scotland are today sharing awards totalling £2,644,204 from the Moving Up funding programme, part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Life Transitions investment area, aimed at tackling workplace inequalities for women, disabled people and people from BME communities.
Big Lottery Fund Scotland Director, Jackie Killeen, said: “We know that barriers and discrimination in the workplace are very real, and get in the way of people achieving their full potential. Through Moving Up, BIG hopes to support those who face barriers to entering into work or progressing on in the career of their choice.

“The projects receiving funding today will all help make sure employers, society and the economy benefit from skills and contributions that are currently being missed. Moving Up will particularly support women returners, young female graduates, disabled people as well as people from a BME background. Today’s awards will help those who face all kinds of discrimination to get ahead, and in time, help reduce those barriers which up to now have prevented these groups from being able to move on.

Step Up! is a partnership project, led by Edinburgh Napier University's Scottish Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology and supported by SEMTA; the Skills Sector Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies. The project will support career entry for female science and engineering students and qualified women looking to return to work after a career break.

Linda Somerville, Director, Scottish Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology, said: “Women are significantly under-represented in science and engineering, despite these sectors offering well paid opportunities in Scotland. Many women qualified in these fields don’t take the next step into related employment and those that do start jobs can face additional barriers when looking to progress their careers. Yet science and engineering industry employers often report skills shortages and are keen to find qualified and experienced staff. The grant will benefit women directly by providing career development activities to enable them to reach their potential and help to address the inequalities that currently exist for women at work.”   

Gender Equality Works, a project from Close The Gap, aims to support women who work in, or are qualified to work in, the renewable energy sector in Scotland. Through mentoring, learning and networking opportunities, it will support them to plan and progress their careers.

Emma Ritch, Close the Gap’s Project Manager, said: “We are delighted that Big Lottery Fund Scotland will be funding our work over the next two years. Many employers are still struggling to reap the benefits of tackling gender inequalities and this funding will help us to support them. We will be bringing together women working in the renewable energy sector and delivering a mentoring and skills programme which we hope will break down some barriers to women’s success in this male-dominated industry.”

Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living (GCIL) will develop and deliver The Equality Academy which aims to open up work opportunities for disabled people to advance in sectors in which they are under-represented and to support public, private and third sector organisations to improve their equality policies and practices.

Etienne d’Aboville, GCIL Chief Executive said: “The support from Big Lottery Fund Scotland will provide GCIL with the opportunity to launch The Equality Academy across Scotland. It will have two key goals: to provide employment and sustainable professional career opportunities to disabled graduates and students; and to support organisations in becoming more accessible to disabled people by delivering training and organisational development services.”

PATH (Scotland)'s project, Positive Moves in the Workplace, aims to support BME people who work or aspire to work within the housing sector make the transition to more senior, supervisory or management roles. The five year project intends to help BME people in Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh improve personal skills such as assertiveness and the ability to deal with conflict, whilst also supporting them to plan their career and realise opportunities for progression.

Najimee Parveen, Director, said: “PATH (Scotland) is absolutely delighted to receive funding from Big Lottery Fund Scotland. It will make a huge difference to the work we do with Black and Minority Ethnic Communities. We will provide after care support to people from a BME background once in employment, provide leadership and mentoring support to enable BME employees to access management and leadership roles and provide support to Employers on Positive Action and Equality work. These services are badly needed as BME Communities face many barriers to progression in the workplace.”

Scottish Trades Union Congress's project Equality and Mentoring and Workshadowing hopes to remove barriers to progression for black and minority ethnic workers in the further and higher education sector in Scotland. The project will develop and deliver training and mentoring for individuals seeking to advance their careers in this field.

Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary, Grahame Smith, said: “Big Lottery funding for this project will be a significant contribution to achieving race equality in Scotland. The project will underline and enhance the invaluable work of further and higher education trade union representatives and employers joining forces to promote equality and tackle racism in the workplace.”

The Nursing Career Opportunities Project from NHS Lothian will improve career opportunities for BME nurses through a package of leadership development activities, management mentoring, development of the existing BME staff network and improved equality awareness across the NHS. The organisation aims to support 250 BME nurses to gain confidence, develop leadership skills and build social capital to understand their own development needs, with at least 25 BME nurses moving up through the nursing hierarchy. Also, 1200 nurses and midwives across NHS Lothian will receive revised equality and diversity training.

Melanie Hornett, Nurse Director NHS Lothian, said, “This presents us with an excellent opportunity to help our black and ethnic minority nurses apply for more senior roles and progress in their chosen careers. We have a very diverse work force; however, we have noted that black and ethnic minority nurses often do not progress into management roles. This funding will help us to target this group of staff and we plan to develop a tailored leadership programme which will instill greater confidence and provide specific training while also developing our existing nursing teams to be even better leaders at managing and developing multicultural teams.”

For more details contact Frances Chisholm, Press Team Scotland, 0141 242 1458
BIG advice line: 0300 123 7110     Textphone: 0845 6021 659
For more information about Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards
Follow us on Twitter @BIGSCOTLAND or like us on Facebook Big Lottery Fund Scotland

Notes to Editors:-

• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £25 billion over £28 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.
• The Scotland Committee has been making Big Lottery Fund decisions on Scottish projects since March 2007.  As well as taking devolved decisions on Lottery spending, the Committee, led by Chair, Maureen McGinn, has and will continue to play a strategic role in the future direction of BIG in Scotland. 
• The Big Lottery Fund is investing in Scotland’s communities through its Investing in Communities portfolio, as well as the small grants schemes Awards for All, Investing in Ideas, Communities and Families and 2014 Communities.