Discuss how race/ethnic identity impacts on career strategies and experiences of BME people in the UK labour market.
In recent years, most countries and their governments have been contemplating and enforcing policies and strategies that aim at tackling race/ethnicity and gender-based discriminations in the labour markets. Up to date, most people still hold the belief that education is the key to life success. Indeed, pundits and commentators fascinated by race or ethnicity-related issues argue that most policymakers and governments consider education as a means of remedying racial disadvantage and enhancing social mobility. In the United Kingdom (UK), the ever-increasing number of Black and minority ethnic (or BME) groups in institutions of higher learning has risen in the last decades. This implies that the young BME students in question are hopeful of a brighter future, which most of their parents may never have had. Based on this phenomenon, this paper will explore the state of BME in the UK labour market with particular focus on the Black African, Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi and Pakistani graduates who appear to get lesser financial gains on their education investment compared to their white English counterparts. Additionally, in the discussion, other intervening factors such as culture, religion, and family which influence BME’s career preferences and aspirations will also be critically examined.
To begin with, the existence of racism, competition, and racial-based employment discrimination in the UK’s labour market has been argued for by many economic and sociology researchers, and even by the BME’s themselves. Nevertheless, there exists very significantly little physical literature on the BME’s career outcomes. This setback notwithstanding, the fact that BME business graduates are more likely than not to enter and remain in managerial job positions with relatively low-level secretarial and administrative work is an open secret (Healy, Bradley & Forson, 2011, pp. 22-6). Many researchers involved in attempting to determine the relationship between race/ethnicity and BME graduates career strategies and future professional development have established two fundamental concepts: career and identity. Consequently, to understand the aspect of racial labour market influences, an in-depth analysis of BME’s career choices and identity is crucial because, apparently, individuals’ choices are largely shaped by these two factors, and BME graduates are mindful of this when contemplating possible career choices and their future professional development.
Racial and ethnic identity is linked to the career ambitions of individuals in the UK’s BME category based on some reasons, including strong parental influence. Therefore, the notion of career supports the possibilities for understanding the linkage of the race to career strategies and experiences of BME groups in the UK. For instance, parents of BME groups seem to be overly concerned...