A two-year equality fund has been launched to make Scottish workplaces more inclusive and diverse.
Aimed at improving Scotland’s overall economic performance the fund should address longstanding barriers in the labour market.
The hope is that the fund will help everyone irrespective of age, gender, race or disability fulfil their potential.
The government-funded project will make £800,000 available in its first year.
Applications for the 2022-2024 workplace equality fund are now open and will be administered by advice direct Scotland the countries national advice service.
Pamela Stewart, deputy chief executive of advice direct Scotland said:
“We encourage organisations across Scotland to apply for support from the Workplace Equality Fund so that more employers can reduce employment inequalities, discrimination and barriers.”
Charities, third sector organisations public sector organisations and private sector businesses can apply for up to £75,000 each year to carry out activities that will improve diversity in the workplace.
The funding is to be used by projects focused on one or more priority groups including:
Women, minority ethnic workers, disabled workers, older workers, people experiencing gender violence, workers experiencing isolation, workers experiencing menopause, veterans and spouses of veterans.
Projects can take place anywhere, in any sector providing they demonstrate the impact on priority groups through addressing systemic inequalities in the workplace.
The workplace inequality fund was first launched by Nichola Sturgeon in 2018.
Last year funds offered immediate support during the pandemic so that equality groups were not further disadvantaged by the economic impact of covid-19.
Minister for just transition, employment and fair work Richard Lochhead MSP said:
“Promoting growth in employment opportunities and tackling inequality within the labour market is essential to the sustained, long-term prosperity of the Scottish economy.
We encourage private, public and third sector organisations to apply for funding through the Workplace Equality Fund.”