Youngsters from an ethnic minority background with the same cv, accent and clothing as their white peers are far less likely to find a job through an employment agency, according to new research for the social affairs ministry.
Once invited for an interview, the native Dutch person was offered the job on 44% of the occasions. Those with an ethnic minority background were offered the job 23% of the time, the research by the government’s socio-cultural institute SCP showed.
The research was carried out using actors who made 460 visits to staffing agencies, all with virtually the same cv, who gave similar answers to standard questions and who spoke Dutch without an accent. They also wore similar clothes and had good manners.
Almost one in four youngsters with an ethnic minority background in the Netherlands are jobless, compared with 8% of white youths. They are also far more likely to have a temporary employment contract.
‘It is possible that discrimination against non-western youth explains their worse position on the jobs market,’ the SCP said.
The new research showed people of Turkish, Surinamese and Antillean origin were far less likely to be employed via a staffing agency than the native white Dutch. However, Dutch Moroccan actors were just as likely to be given a job as a native Dutch person.
The researchers told the Nos this may be because employers have such a negative image of people with Moroccan origins that the actors were seen in a more positive light than the other ethnic minority actors.
The research focused on young people aged 22 to 23. The difference in acceptance rate was less obvious for women than men. ‘Non-western women would appear to be viewed as more trustworthy and ambitious, while men are regarded as more threatening,’ the researchers said.
However, online applications by fictitious candidates did not result in any significant difference in the background of those invited for interview, the research showed.
Researcher Iris Andriessen told the Nos it is difficult to determine what lies behind the discrimination when personal contact is made. Earlier research has shown staffing agencies will admit to preferring to employ white people, or to excluding people from certain backgrounds.
A spokesman for temporary employment agency association ABU told news agency ANP efforts have been made to reduce discrimination and the number of cases has gone down by some 30%.
‘We are making progress but every instance of discrimination is one too many,’ spokesman Aart van der Gaag said.
Junior social affairs minister Jetta Klijnsma on Monday urged people to continue to report jobs market discrimination to to the relevant bodies. It is ‘unacceptable’ and ‘not sensible’ to ignore potential talent, the minister said in a reaction to the report.
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