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Project funded by the European Social Fund (ESF)

This three year project led by the University of Bradford is partly funded by the European Social Fund in collaboration with the Department of Health and the Universities of Middlesex and De Montfort.

It aims to increase the awareness, effectiveness and application of Positive Action initiatives in the public sector.

Although the business case for Equal Opportunities has been accepted within the public sector, there is little research into people’s aspirations and experiences of Positive Action as a means of promoting equality of opportunity in the whole employment cycle.

The research project will explore the meanings of Positive Action (PA) and its impact on workforce diversity in Higher and Further Education and the National Health Service in England.

The results will inform the development of good practice in the effective use of Positive Action initiatives in these sectors.

This study aims to:

  • Identify the types, range and the rationale for positive action measures in the participating sites
  • Explore the experiences of the target individuals (recipients of PA) and their views on the motivation for taking part in the PA initiative
  • Explore the perceptions of, and attitudes to PA by non-recipients (peer group), potential employees, HR personnel and EO staff

The study will be carried out in Higher Education, Further Education and National Health Service organisations. It will seek views from Human Resource Managers and others involved in devising and implementing Positive Action strategy, and current and potential recipients of Positive Action.

A combination of research methods including interviews, focus groups, questionnaire, and documentary analysis will be used. The team will select a broad range of institutions and people to address race, disability and gender-related Positive Action issues.

Footnote: 'Positive Action' is a process permitted by law to overcome long-standing disadvantages experienced by minorities because of earlier discrimination in education and other aspects of their life. It is not the same as 'positive discrimination' (which is illegal).

For further information, please contact Professor Uduak Archibong.