MSPS are to investigate apparent discrimination in the workplace and its link to poverty rates among ethnic minorities.

Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee has launched an inquiry into what can be done in Scotland to improve employment, training and career progression for minority ethnic communities.

It will look at the public sector and the steps organisations take to increase the number of non-white people hired.

It is appealing for views, evidence and witnesses on what more can be done by employers, schools, colleges and universities to ensure people from minority backgrounds have equal access to employment and training as the majority of the population.

Convener Ruth Maguire said: “Research shows that people from minority ethnic communities continue to face poorer outcomes than the majority of the population, with higher levels of in-work poverty and lower employment rates, even though many have performed well at school or completed university or college.

“Employment is key to addressing issues of housing, education and health inequalities, poverty and encouraging participation in public life.

“This inquiry will focus on public authorities, who have a legal obligation to remove any real or perceived barriers to employment faced by people due to their race, and investigate what measures they are taking to increase employment, training and progression opportunities for minority ethnic communities.”

Paul Carberry, from charity Action for Children, which has a project exploring employment barriers to black and minority ethnic people, said: “This inquiry could mark the start of a journey and the beginning of a discussion on how we can ensure Scotland has a more diverse workforce.”