West Midlands Fire & Rescue Service has hit back at reports in the mainstream media that their recruitment process is ‘discriminatory’ against white male applicants.
The statement comes after an article published on the Daily Mail’s website accused the Service of making entry tests ‘harder’ for ‘white men’ to pass
In their article (scroll down for link), the Daily Mail said:
‘Down the years, many a little boy has dreamed of being a fireman when he grows up.
‘Now, it seems, for some of them achieving that goal has become a bit harder.
‘A fire service has been accused of discrimination after it was claimed that white men have to score higher in recruitment tests than women and people from ethnic minorities.
‘When applying for a role at West Midlands Fire Service, they have to score 70 per cent in a verbal and numerical reasoning test to get through to the next round’.
‘But women and people from black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups need only 60 per cent’
However, a statement released by West Midlands Fire & Rescue Service defended it’s recruitment process and said:
‘Following recent media reports, we emphatically reject unsubstantiated claims that our recruitment of the best firefighters for the West Midlands is discriminatory.
‘We always have high numbers of people wanting to join us as firefighters. This enables us to apply a high pass mark to attract the best candidates. All of our new entrants have attained high levels of performance and should be proud of their skills and ability.
‘When appropriate we can select people from groups that are under-represented in our workforce.
‘We do this with
‘We are committed to a having a workforce that reflects the diversity of our communities, and one that is welcoming to all. We are proud of our recruitment and selection processes. We work hard to break down barriers faced by people within our local community who could bring so much to our service and to their community as firefighters.
‘In our strategic plan, which is available to read on our website www.wmfs.net, we clearly state: ‘Through an approach known as ‘positive action’ we will attract, recruit and support progression for individuals with protected characteristics’.
‘Our work to attract more firefighters who are women or from minority backgrounds has been praised by the Government. We are ranked 2nd in the latest Top 50 UK Employers List, recognising our commitment to workplace diversity’.
The story by the Daily Mail was published after a whistleblower accused West Midlands Fire & Rescue Service of ‘spending £2500 a month on Facebook adverts targeted specifically at women‘.
On their website, West Midlands Fire service state:
‘We’re actively encouraging applications from women and members of the West Midlands’ black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
‘These groups are under-represented in our organisation, which we want to reflect the diversity of our communities.
‘But the process is, of course, open to all. You can read more about this in our positive action section’.
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