Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Labour peer calls for positive discrimination in public works

  • Comment

Racial equality campaigner Baroness Howells has controversially called on the government to set aside a quota of public works projects for ethnic minority architects.

The Labour peer wants to see a period of temporary positive discrimination in an effort to break through 'the glass ceiling' in architecture.A similar system was used to bring an end to segregation in the US.

'If I look for a black-designed government building I can't find one, ' she said.'How long must I wait? If the government policy is to spend, say, £100 million on buildings then it could say that 10 per cent should be by ethnic minority groups.'

Her idea is that individual clients, whether private or public, should not be expected to discriminate in favour of ethnic minorities during a design competition, but that a target figure of projects should be made for contracts awarded outside design competitions.'If the Labour government is serious about ending racism, it has to look at ways of raising the profile of ethnic minority professionals.' She said that ethnic minority architects could bring 'a different ethos' to projects in areas of mixed population. It is estimated there are only 70 black registered architects in the UK.

Chairman of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment Sir Stuart Lipton, who is heading the Society of Black Architects mentoring programme, said ethnic minority architects should concentrate on winning government and local authority jobs to help build up a strong track record.'There must be equal opportunities in government projects, 'he said.'The government will bend over backwards to be seen to be doing the right thing.'

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs

AJ Jobs