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How can the Forestry Commission recruit more Black, Asian and ethnic minority employees?



The Forestry Commission is obliged to promote equality in the workforce. But in 2009-10 the demographic profile of the staff was not representative of UK society as a whole, with few employees from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Forest Research used a social marketing approach to analyse the complex factors which contribute to the socio-economic profile of the Commission’s workforce.

Key findings and recommendations

  • Unpopular – the environmental sector is unpopular among BAME individuals as science, engineering and technology (SET), finance, medicine, law and social care attract more attention
  • Unaware – the wide range of roles on offer in the Forestry Commission, including those connected with SET and finance, were not recognised
  • Attractive offer – people found certain aspects of working for the Forestry Commission attractive: civil service terms and conditions; the provision of training; possibilities for flexible working; and diversity in the roles on offer
  • Understanding – for BAME individuals to respond to job adverts, they need first to recognise, know and understand the Forestry Commission as an organisation and the values it stands for
  • Outreach – recruitment should use ‘community outreach’ methods to increase knowledge of the Forest Commission and what it does among BAME populations
  • Advertising – the Forestry Commission should place adverts for job vacancies in the mainstream media used by BAME individuals

Publications and presentations

Funders and partners

Commissioned and funded by the Forestry Commission, with support and guidance from Professor Jeff French, Strategic Social Marketing.


This project was completed winter 2009.


Bianca Ambrose-Oji

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Bianca Ambrose-Oji

Science group leader