The Dream Job: 21 Steps to Enhance BAME Opportunities in Scotland

Tefu Gessesse

As we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the publication of the Dream Job, the world is also shocked by the killing of George Floyd. He died on 25th May 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while he was handcuffed face down on the street.

When the Centre for Human Ecology wrote the Dream Job report in 2005, we all hoped that things would get better for the most vulnerable people in our society, i.e. the most economically and politically excluded communities in Scotland. We also hoped then for a better world for all human beings.

However, what we have witnessed in the past 15 years is those who were excluded in 2005 are still marginalised and the feeling of otherness is expanding and togetherness diminishing. The collapse of the banking system in 2008 has affected the lives of the precariat and working-class people more than members of other social classes. Furthermore, the right-wing media has been spreading its cancerous venom against equality groups, and it has succeeded in dividing society. However, the recent killing of George Floyd has sent a clear message to the world as it has brought many black and white, young and old people together against those who want to divide us.

Thank you to the Centre for Human Ecology and associates for dedicating the Dream Job publication anniversary in memory of George Floyd.

Tesfu Gessesse, former chair of EMPOWER Scotland

For me, things that were seminal about these reports were: 1) They gave evidence that racism was a reality in Scotland; 2) They showed that we had cultural strengths in our poetry and mythology that augurs for an inclusive sense of national identity; 3) They communicated the notion of a multicultural Scotland based on multiple identities; 4) They argued that the faith and cultural richness of BMEs (now BAMEs) could and should be seen as part of the richness that comprises Scotland, and in the job market, offers strengths that employers might not have thought of. The Dream Job report is a report conducted in the context of its era. It has some of the limitations of our vision of that era. But the basic findings of it remain as important today as they were when first published.

Alastair McIntosh, CHE Fellow 

Link to further information and context about the report (Alastair McIntosh’s site)

Link to contemporaneous BBC News coverage of the report: “Racism bar to Scottishness”