7 Job seeker's shock as Exeter council advertise museum job for ethnic minorities only.
Exeter City Council has come under fire for its decision to only invite ethnic minority applicants to apply for a job at Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM).
The Council has faced criticism from a potential applicant after she went to apply for the seven month trainee placement at The Museum but saw it was only offered to ethnic minorities.
The job description reads:
“This 7 month placement will provide a positive opportunity to obtain and develop museum skills and experience across the broad spectrum of museum work. As a RAMM museum trainee, your programme will involve induction, shadowing and projects involving managing and interpreting the collections for a range of audiences.
“This traineeship is hosted by RAMM to address areas where black and ethnic minority individuals are under-represented in the workforce.
“It is offered to Black and Minority Ethnic people only (Section 37  of the Race Relations Act 1976). It is based on the principles of positive action which means helping people from under-represented minorities to compete on an equal basis for jobs by helping them to develop the necessary skills and experience to take a first step on the career ladder. Public institutions have a duty to promote the Race Relations Act and to ensure that the communities they serve are represented within the make-up of their workforce.”
The process is legal under the Race Relations Act 1976 that states that if a racial group is under-represented councils can offer training to individuals from that group.
The potential applicant, who raised the advert to The Echo, said:
“I was shocked to see the reason why I couldn't apply.
"I am searching for a job and thought it would be great to work at the museum, when I saw the wording I was just so surprised that the council could do this.
“I think I can understand why they would want to hire more black or ethnic people but I just didn't think they could advertise a job like that.
“To be honest I'm not even sure I would get the job as I feel I may not be fully qualified but I am just shocked I can't because I am white.
“Surely this isn't equal opportunities; I thought people should be made aware that the council are doing this. I have never seen anything like it. “
No one from the RAMM or Exeter City Council was available for comment at this point but it is understood that the position has been created to help with an imbalance in the ethnic mix of the council’s workforce.