Social issues in The United Kingdom

I feel that all discrimination is negative and it is always wrong to select employees on any basis other than merit and ability. However, applicants from minority backgrounds have frequently had to surpass many more obstacles and difficulties than applicants from the majority, such as poor schooling and poor training. Therefore some may feel that positive discrimination levels the playing field.

But still, positive discrimination leads to able applicants being unfairly passed over. This means that for some groups, positive discrimination, means reverse discrimination (source B).Positive discrimination may therefore lead to less able applicants filling positions. Some people think that such a policy would be good for the economic welfare of the country in the short term since it unlocks potential that would otherwise be unrealized. Minority applicants are just as skilled as those from the majority but that talent is frequently untapped due to lack of opportunity.

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However employers must have the flexibility to employ the best candidates as they see fit in order to ensure efficiency and productivity.Positive discrimination undermines the achievements of minority applicants who are accepted on their own merits; it is patronizing and suggests they cannot be employed on merit alone. It will also create the impression that a minority applicant was successful only because of positive discrimination. It will also cause other members of the team to undermine their authority, and they may develop feelings of intolerance and resentment (source B). Minority applicants who were successful would become role models for future generations.This would be good for the minority and good for the economic welfare of the country since it would facilitate the development of bright, able youngsters from minority backgrounds. However, minorities themselves see positive discrimination as being condescending.

It is rarely advocated by the minorities themselves but almost always by the majority out of a misguided sense of guilt. It could cause resentment in those who were passed over and this would be directed against those who were accepted.By bringing more minority applicants into the workplace, in an environment in which everyone works as part of a team, we can help alleviate such bigoted attitudes. This though may cause more divisions in the workplace.

Another of our cultural ideals is that our society should be a meritocracy, in which the only criterion for selection is ability. The proposition’s aim of improving representation in high profile jobs and positions is indeed worthy but we should not sacrifice the meritocratic principle for it.In any multicultural society the ideal for which we should strive is that the mix of races and sex in any particular job or position is the same as it is in the wider population. At present the under-representation of minorities and women in certain fields (e. g. the police force and judiciary) leads to perceptions of institutional racism and sexism, undermining their credibility. Instead we should try to bring it about by giving everyone better access to education.

The undergraduate population is becoming more culturally diverse all the time.This will lead to increased diversity in senior positions as these undergraduates enter the job market. Although the pace of change is not as fast as it might be there is change and it is in the right direction.

Although I do not agree that the whole of the proposed ‘Positive Discrimination Policy’ should be introduced, I do feel that certain aspects of the policy would be beneficial if implemented. The ‘Equal Access Policy’ would provide opportunities for ethnic minorities who are not fluent in English a chance to read employment advertisements in their own language.This would only be feasible, however when advertising jobs which do not require fluency in English (source A2). In conclusion to my report I recommend that the proposed ‘Positive Discrimination Policy’ should not be implemented as I feel that having taken into consideration the arguments produced that any problems created outweigh any benefits gained (source B), but that the aspect of the ‘Equal Access Policy’ be introduced, as it would open up another field of opportunities for ethnic minorities.

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