ERC study finds more East Indians being recruited in Region Four
-but Africans dominate all sectors

Kaieteur News
March 23, 2007

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A report released by the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) has found that East Indians accounted for the overall highest proportion of persons who are recruited across all sectors in Region Four between August 2001 and August 2006, representing a shift in position prior to 2002.

The survey, which studied employment practices in the private, public and trade union organizations, found that a total of 665 East Indians were recruited, accounting for approximately 50 percent of those recruited in the Region, as compared to 621, or 47 percent of Africans.

Pamela Rodney was contracted by the ERC to conduct the research, which targeted 14 organisations and examined current staff lists, employment records of incoming and outgoing staff, and reasons for employees'exits.

Chairman of the ERC, Bishop Juan Edghill, said yesterday that the survey should put to rest the numerous accusations and wide, sweeping assertions often made by politicians and other social commentators.

He added that the survey, although limited to Region Four, gives a fair understanding of the employment practices countrywide.

Bishop Edghill based this assumption on the fact that RegionFour is the “economic heart” of the country and is home to close to half of the population.

The report will be presented to the National Assembly shortly, Bishop Edghill stated.

Rodney, in her Executive Summary, notes that with respect to employee intake over the period August 2001 to August 2006, research data signifies a change in the recruitment pattern among the two dominant ethnic groups.

She stated that, traditionally and up until 1992, Africans accounted for the group with the majority occupying regular positions.

However, the data suggests a change in this trend in the public and private sectors and Trade Union organisations.

While more East Indians were being employed, research data revealed that Africans predominate all the sectors in Region Four, which is consistent with the regional population distribution statistics.

Using a four-tier structure to analyze staff levels, data from Rodney's research suggests that, in the public sector, a higher proportion of East Indians occupied positions at the senior, middle and first levels, compared to Africans, the majority of whom occupy ancillary positions.

The data also suggests that Amerindians occupy positions at the senior, middle and first levels, but not at the ancillary level.

Among the Mixed race, data linked these groups to positions similar to Africans. Fifty percent of them occupy ancillary level positions while approximately 17 percent occupy positions in each of the upper levels.

On the other hand, regarding the “Other”, which included, the Chinese, Portuguese and Europeans, it was revealed that this group occupied positions at two levels only - senior and first - 50 percent at each level.


In the private sector, a higher proportion of Africans occupy the highest categories of positions: senior, middle and first level, compared to the East Indians, where the finding indicates the reverse.

In this sector, the proportions for Africans are 11 percent, 12 percent and 24 percent in comparison to 7 percent, 79 percent and 22.8 percent for the East Indians at the three highest levels.

The proportions in respect of ancillary staff are 62 percent for East Indians and 53 percent for Africans.

Amerindians in the private sector were in a position similar to that of the “Other” group in the public sector, in which they seem to occupy only two positions: the first level, with a lower proportion of 37.5 percent, and the ancillary level, at which 62.5 percent occupied positions.

More of the Mixed race occupied positions at the middle level (34%) than at the other levels in the private sector.

In the Trade Union organisations, the majority of East Indians occupy first level positions, followed by senior and ancillary positions on an equal basis at 17 percent each.

For the Africans, a substantial proportion occupies first and senior level positions.

The smallest proportion of Africans occupied the ancillary positions in trade union organizations.

One of the major recommendations suggests that an Employment Monitoring Commission be established to monitor employment policies and practices within organisations.

The report suggest that the commission develop a proactive equity plan for all employment sectors and work closely with the ERC to address all claims of discrimination in the work place.