Headlines: March 21st, 2001

The National Assembly for Wales will decide today (Wednesday, March 21) whether to adopt radical action to combat racism within its corridors.The recommendations for action are in a report commissioned in partnership by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) and the National Assembly.

“Lifting Every Voice” has identified a number of problems in the Assembly’s procedures and practices that inadvertently disadvantage people from ethnic minority groups.

One example is in recruitment into the Welsh civil service. Candidates are appointed on the basis of having broad-based skills, which excludes some candidates.One of the key recommendations is that recruitment policy should change to allow for the appointment of candidates with specific expertise.

Other recommendations include compulsory race training for all Assembly staff and Members, and fast-track development for the small numbers of ethnic minority staff already employed.

The PCS are claiming the report already puts Wales ahead of the English civil service, which is also trying to be more inclusive. It cites the coalition with politicians, staff and senior managers as creating a unique drive for chang