The government has set up a new independent body in order to tackle the problem of unemployment in ethnic minority groups.
Employment rates among ethnic minority groups in the UK stand at only 59.2 per cent, compared to 74.8 per cent in the population as a whole.
Made up of 22 representatives from a range of different ethnic backgrounds, the Ethnic Minority Advisory Group (Emag) will be working with employers and communities to try to close this gap.
"We will be lobbying for the government to undertake a series of powerful and affirmative measures designed to target both public and private sector employment practices," said Emag's chair, Iqbal Wahhab.
"Where we find these to be lacking in terms of ethnic minority representation, we will be calling for action to be taken against those organisations."
The agency was launched by Jim Murphy, the minister for employment and chair of the Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force, which will work closely with Emag in trying to boost workplace diversity.
Emag will also look at providing employment opportunities through the regeneration of East London in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.