Invitation to Tender: Travellers Experience of Employment
Spotlight on the experiences of Travellers in employment:
A Qualitative Study
St. Stephen’s Green Trust (SSGT) is a charitable foundation which respects human dignity and is committed to helping create a society where the dignity of all can be realised through social justice and inclusive nurturing communities.
St Stephen’s Green Trust wish to commission a qualitative study examining Travellers experiences of employment. This research project should contribute to knowledge around cultural specificities of Travellers in employment and build on research to date.
As one of the most marginalised and excluded groups in Ireland, Travellers are one of the key focuses of our work. It is intended this study will assist SSGT in contributing to a goal of increased participation of Travellers in employment.
Over 80% (8,500) of Travellers in the labour force (10,650) are unemployed. Factors such as severe educational disadvantage, widespread and endemic inequality and discrimination in the workplace all contribute to this situation.
This research aims to address the gap in knowledge around Travellers’ lived experiences of the labour market, and to provide insight to policymakers, employers and unions on the issue.
Please see attached Tender document for more information.
Tenders should be submitted by email to Sinéad Burke, Traveller Enterprise & Employment Policy Officer, SSGT at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Friday 29 May.
Informal queries can be directed to Sinéad on 085 863 0565 (Monday to Wednesday) or by email to email@example.com.
Shortlisted tenderers may be asked to attend for interview
Travellers’ Experiences of Employment
Research Terms of Reference
Spotlight on the experiences of Travellers in employment: a qualitative study
Over 80% (8,500) of Travellers in the labour force (10,650) are unemployed, a statistic underpinned by a range of issues affecting participation in the labour market. Factors such as severe educational disadvantage, widespread and endemic inequality and discrimination in the workplace all contribute to this situation.
Until the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis many commentators described Ireland as approaching ‘full’ employment. There was a growing focus on the groups whose rate of unemployment remained consistently high. When employment starts to return it will be important to support not only those who have lost their jobs in this pandemic, but also people who were unemployed and distanced from the labour market. It will be particularly important that strong efforts are made to address barriers into and in the Irish labour market.
While over 80% of Travellers in the labour force were unemployed (pre-Covid 19), little is known about the 2,000 Travellers who were employed. A 2017 Behaviour and Attitudes Survey found that only 17% of the general public said they would employ a Traveller. In contrast to, this a 2018 SOLAS survey reported that over 60% of employers said they would employ an ex prisoner. A 2017 IHREC/ESRI report on discrimination in the workplace found too few Travellers in employment to examine the issue for that group. The same report also stated,
“Irish Travellers report very high rates of discrimination in seeking work, where they are ten times more likely than White Irish to experience discrimination”.
The 2017 Behaviour and Attitudes Survey also found that 43% of Travellers had experienced discrimination while looking for work and 62% of Travellers changed their behaviour and presentation to fit in more when looking for work.
Despite these startling findings and statistics, little is known about the situation of the 2,000 Travellers in employment: who they are; how they got there; how they have sustained and experienced employment.
In May 2019 St Stephen’s Green Trust (SSGT) published a short report, ‘Mincéir Gruber Malaid Streed, What next for Traveller Employment’. The objective was to contribute to knowledge on how and why high numbers of Travellers are unemployed, to reflect the existing policy context and to make some recommendations. The report cites examples of Travellers having to hide their identities in employment to avoid racism and discrimination and also examines current State employment programmes and their effectiveness in addressing Traveller unemployment. The report does not explore Travellers’ experiences once in employment.
Following the publication of the May 2019 report, SSGT decided to fund the Traveller Employment and Enterprise Policy Programme (TEEPP), which aims to contribute to a goal of increased participation of Travellers in employment and enterprise. One of the objectives of the programme is to contribute to knowledge around cultural specificities of Travellers in employment and build on research to date.
- Research Objectives
This research aims to address the gap in knowledge around Travellers’ lived experiences of the labour market, and to provide insight to policymakers, employers and unions on the issue. Understanding the labour market experiences of Travellers is important for both policymakers and employers. For policymakers, inclusive economic growth and labour markets can only be achieved through intersectional approaches which acknowledge, and actively seek to overcome, the barriers faced by particular groups such as Travellers and others.
For employers, beyond the arguments for equality and human rights, there are clear economic incentives to tackle inequalities faced by Travellers. There is a mounting global evidence base to suggest that the gains to employers in advancing equality and diversity are wide-ranging, including improved staff morale; reduced costs through higher retention; enhanced creativity, productivity and profitability.
The report will:
- Provide a policy context on Travellers in employment and their pathways to employment.
- Provide a short overview of some of the key barriers and labour market issues identified in previous research facing Travellers. A significant body of research exists on barriers to participation in the labour market, and much of this has been gathered by SSGT, in particular as it relates to Travellers. This will be made available to the successful tenderer.
- Document the labour market and employment experiences of Travellers.
- Contribute to the knowledge of the experiences of Travellers in gaining, retaining and progressing in employment.
- Contribute to insight into employers’ experience of recruiting and retaining Travellers in employment.
- Highlight models of good practice from this or other jurisdictions which make a positive contribution to the employment, retention and progression of minority ethnic groups in employment.
- Make recommendations aimed at policymakers and practitioners to advance the labour market situation for Travellers
We suggest the methodology provided by the researcher will include the following elements:
- Semi-structured interviews with a minimum of twelve Travellers in private and public sector employment who will be identified through SSGT and other contacts. Some interviewees may need to be interviewed twice.
- Semi structured interviews with 2 or 3 private sector employers
- Semi structured interviews with a small number of key stakeholders (e.g. policy makers, Trade Unions and members of the TEEPP Advisory Group).
- A review and analysis of Traveller related employment policy, research and good practice in Ireland and other jurisdictions based on materials provided by SSGT.
- Findings will include recommendations for action by the State, employers, Trade Unions and the SSGT Traveller Enterprise & Employment Policy Programme.
- Traveller Participation
- SSGT is committed to Traveller participation in all of its activities and plans. If the successful applicant is not a Traveller, SSGT intend to make available to the researcher a Traveller to act as a co-facilitator and/or assistant as appropriate. This position would operate as both a shadowing role and resource to the research. The tenderer should specify how they might incorporate this role into the project plan but does not need to budget for it.
- Oversight Group
- A research oversight group will guide the work and the methodology should include details of regular feedback to this group prior to and during the research process.
- Invitation to Tender
Proposals are invited to undertake the research which should include:
- An outline of the methodology proposed and description of the work that will be undertaken.
- An overall cost for the work.
- Details of staff allocated to the project, together with experience of staff members in carrying out similar projects.
- A sample of or link to relevant previous work.
- Details of at least two relevant references, including a specific contact.
- The number of days allocated to the project and the daily rate.
- The final report should be submitted in Word and pdf format and should be of publishable standard.
- The final report should include an executive summary.
- The final report should be in the region of 13,000 words in length.
- Ownership of the final report will rest with SSGT.
The researcher should have relevant research experience, an understanding or experience of issues affecting the Traveller community, and a demonstrated commitment to equality and anti-racism. The researcher will be responsible for ensuring that ethical standards will be met throughout the research process including data protection and assurances of confidentiality.
Short periodic written reports will be made to SSGT which includes progress on agreed objectives.
An outline for the final report will be submitted in advance of the data analysis.
A draft report will be submitted for discussion by the research oversight group following which a final report will be submitted.
Time frame and budget
The research will begin no later than July 2020 and will be undertaken over a 6-month period with an anticipated completion date of December 2020. While taking into account the current Covid 19 restrictions, SSGT anticipate that the early part of this project could be achieved through desktop activity.
The budget for the research is €10,000 inclusive of VAT and will cover all costs, including travel and subsistence.
How to apply
Tenders should be submitted by email to Sinéad Burke, Traveller Enterprise & Employment Policy Officer, SSGT at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Friday 29th May.
Informal queries can be directed to Sinéad on 085 863 0565 (Monday to Wednesday) or by email to email@example.com.
Shortlisted tenderers may be asked to attend for interview.
 The commonly held threshold for full employment is 4% - 4.5% unemployment. Ireland’s unemployment rate in Quarter 4, 2019 was 4.5%, the lowest rate of unemployment in 13 years.
 “Traveller Community National Survey 2017,” commissioned by The National Traveller Data Steering Group and the Community Foundation of Ireland, carried out by Behaviour and Attitudes
 “National Employer Survey 2018 “commissioned by the Department of Education and Skills, carried out by SOLAS and the Higher Education Authority, Quality and Qualifications Ireland
 “Who experiences discrimination in Ireland? Evidence from the QNHS Equality Modules” 2017 Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and Economic and Social Research Institute report
 ‘Mincéir Gruber Malaid Streed, What next for Traveller Employment?” 2019 produced by St Stephen’s Green Trust
 The TEEPP Strategic Plan 2020-2022 is available upon request