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Driving positive change to make a difference

Our equality objectives and priorities

Next steps: our equality objectives and priorities

Objective 1: Provide accessible, affordable, safe and inclusive transport services to our wide range of customers.
Theme 1. Travelling safely and securely: Reduce total recorded crime and improve passenger views of personal safety on the transport network.
Main activities:
We will relaunch ‘Project Empower’ to tackle sexual harassment on public transport.
  • We will reach out to schools and community groups to get important safety messages out to young people, disabled people and harder-to-reach groups.
  • We will keep using ‘restorative justice’ for young people who commit anti- social behaviour.
  • We will run campaigns against hate crime.
  • We will have social media strategies to reach out to more communities.
  • We will run a targeted road safety campaign to make the roads safer and address inequalities for vulnerable road users.
Theme 2. Commonwealth Games: Deliver an accessible and inclusive Commonwealth Games.
Main activities:
  • We will make all Games venues accessible by public transport and sign post everything clearly.

  • We will have accessible shuttle buses from transport hubs to venues and blue badge parking at venues.

  • We will use extra services to add to the public transport available.

  • We will have easy-to-use ticket payment options for transport, and free public transport for Games staff and volunteers.

  • We will make stations, transport hubs and other infrastructure more accessible.

  • We will improve transport links on Metro, Sprint and the rail network across the region and beyond.

Theme 3. Value for money, affordability and employment support: Make sure services are good value for money and people can access employment, education and leisure opportunities.
Main activities:
  • We will setup account-based ticketing, make the fare structure simpler, and make sure customers always get the best-value fares.

  • We will introduce ways to pay that suit those customers who need the most support.

  • We will keep improving Workwise. This scheme provides free travel to help people get into employment.

  • We will review whether concessionary fares and supported travel could help more people.

  • We will include the needs of excluded groups in the Inclusive Transport Action Plan.

  • We will work with transport operators to see whether we can introduce reduced fares for companions travelling with pass users.

Theme 4. Sustainable travel and decarbonising transport: Make sustainable travel more accessible and affordable.
Main activities:
  • We will co-ordinate the inclusive cyclist group to make improvements for disabled cycling.

  • We will carry on supporting cycling and walking events, including in more deprived areas.

  • We will introduce a cycle hire scheme and think about what concessions and incentives will encourage people to use it.

  • We will support community-based cycling programmes so that disabled people can enjoy cycling.

Theme 5. Customer experience, communication and engagement: Improve customer experience for our diverse range of customers; talk to people as widely as possible, so that we can understand all customer needs and can meet them better.
Main activities:
  • We will deliver training and resources about equalities and disability for staff who work with our customers.

  • We will carry on working with vulnerable young people and think about new travel offers for young people. This includes support for care leavers, people not in education, employment or training, and apprentices.

  • We will help TfWM’s Youth Forum to grow and deliver projects that meet young people’s needs.

Theme 6. Inclusive transport services for all: Make sure the infrastructure, information and services we provide are accessible to more people, with customer service that meets individual needs.
Main activities:
  • We will improve infrastructure and customer experience at our bus stations and major interchanges by refurbishing and new station developments.

  • We will extend our Metro network to make it more accessible.

  • We will look for other ways to make rail stations more accessible.

  • We will keep running the subsidised bus network to provide socially necessary services.

  • We will help to produce and advertise accessibility aids that make travelling easier for disabled people.

  • We will keep funding Ring and Ride.We will improve the service and customer satisfaction with it.

  • We will explore ways to connect community transport better with wider public transport.

  • We will use ‘DataInsight’ and TfWM’s online community network ‘My Community’ to do research and speak to all communities.

Theme 7. Strategic transport and policy: Make sure our strategic transport schemes and policies are inclusive and promote a fair network.
Main activities:
  • We will launch an updated local transport plan to support our five ‘motives for change’, including ‘Creating a Fairer Society’.

  • We will make the network better connected and make sure it meets more diverse needs.

  • We will think about the impact of Covid-19 on different groups and make sure that transport helps people to access employment and training, especially those hardest hit by the pandemic.

Objective 1 main outcomes:
  • The network will be safer and more secure. The most vulnerable groups will feel safer on the network.

  • The Commonwealth Games experience will be inclusive, affordable and accessible.

  • There will be more inclusive and affordable transport services.

  • Cycling will increase among a diverse range of residents.

  • Accessibility will be improved in transport infrastructure.

  • Ring and Ride customers will be more satisfied with the service. A diverse

    range of disabled users will use it more.

  • A Transport Plan will be in place with inclusivity and accessibility targets.
Objective 2: Deliver schemes, strategies and programmes across the region that are good for equality and inclusion and that reduce socio-economic disadvantage and poverty for our diverse communities.
Theme 1. Affordable and inclusive housing provision: Implement the affordable housing policy and delivery programme to support regeneration and make high-quality employment available for local people.
Main activities:
  • We will invest in regenerating and reusing town centre sites.

  • We will invest in brown field sites to provide housing and employment.

  • We will bring together investment in specific areas(‘inclusive growth corridors’) to create economic growth, better opportunities, increased physical activity and better transport links.

  • We will encourage all organisations to use the WMCA affordable housing definition.

  • Under the Single Commissioning Framework,we will make sure that 20% of new housing is affordable.

  • We will make sure developments that we support provide a minimum number of apprenticeships.

  • We will encourage our suppliers to employ more young people, and people from under-represented groups.

  • We will use the West Midlands sustainable design charter to make good design the norm.

  • We will engage with local charities to help homeless families to get accommodation.

Theme 2. Skills equity: Increase skills levels so that local people can get sustainable employment, and enhance skills at higher levels so that all communities benefit from the region’s economic growth.
Main activities:
  • We will provide activities to help young people to prepare for work.

  • We will setup clear career entry and reskilling routes for unemployed adults, particularly those from under-represented groups.

  • We will increase the take-up of good-quality apprenticeships, targeting under-represented groups.

  • We will commission skills provision for disadvantaged groups.

  • We will support people to get English language skills.

  • We will continue the employment support pilot for unemployed people and people on low incomes.

  • We will support skill straining for those who need it the most.

  • We will support retraining for people at risk of losing their jobs to automation.

  • We will deliver more higher skills training to help people to be more productive and earn more.

  • We will develop training and recruitment in specific sectors to help unemployed people get good jobs locally.
  • We will deliver a Commonwealth Games ‘Jobs and Skills Academy’ to support local people, including under-represented groups, to get jobs, training and volunteering opportunities.
Theme 3. Public service reform: Deliver more inclusive growth, with the confidence to shape investment, infrastructure and services more deliberately around social and economic goals.
Main activities:
  • We will work with local authorities and others to promote social innovation using a toolkit and a flexible team.

  • We will co-ordinate activities to address social challenges, including a ‘Coalition for Digital Inclusion’.

  • We will bring together local authorities to address health in equalities by tackling some of the wider causes of poor health.

  • We will bring together partners to tackle homelessness, through the Homelessness Taskforce.

  • We will deliver a Covid-19 recovery programme.

  • We will work with the Police and Crime Commissioner to reduce crime and improve the criminal justice system.
Theme 4. Wellbeing: Create a region where positive, proactive and preventative approaches to wellbeing and engagement are the norm, giving our diverse population a better chance to do well in life and work.
Main activities:
  • We will keep delivering the Thrive into Work programme to give employment support to people with mental or physical health conditions.

  • We will expand the Thrive at Work programme to support workplace wellbeing.

  • We will update the Mental Health Commission Thrive Action Plan and consider a Black Thrive initiative for the region.

  • We will work with the Police and Crime Commission to improve the criminal justice system.

  • We will continue the Include Me programme to engage more widely with disabled people.


Objective 2 main outcomes:
  • There will be more affordable housing (16,500 houses a year), including on brownfield land.

  • Town centres will be regenerated.

  • The Regional Design Charter will be adopted more widely, and the proportion of accessible housing will be higher.

  • Unemployment will be lower, and so will the percentage of people with no qualifications. The percentage of people with level 3+ qualifications will increase, especially for the most disadvantaged groups.

  • More people will be taking up apprenticeships.

  • People with complex needs will have better employment, health and wider outcomes, and regional deprivation levels will be lower.

  • Health, housing, education and employment inequalities will be lower.

  • The commitment to more diverse leadership in the region will be stronger.


Objective 3: Ensure that equality is embedded in all key areas of WMCA’s work, that the WCMA has a strong regional influencing role on equalities and that the needs of our diverse communities influence decision-making.
Objective 3 themes and activities:
Theme 1. Embedding equalities: Make equality considerations a central part of decision-making.
Main activities:
  • We will use the Equality Impact Assessment process in all of WMCA’s most important activities.

  • We will look again at outcomes for the groups worst affected by COVID-19 and address this unequal impact.

  • We will develop clear diversity aims and targets in all of WMCA’s most important activities.

  • We will develop better ways to monitor and report one quality and inclusion.

Theme 2. Community engagement and co-production: Engage with more of the region’s diverse communities, so that their needs and views are considered when we develop and deliver our strategies and programmes.
Main activities:
  • We will deliver a variety of ways to engage with citizens, including the Young Combined Authority and Skills Street Team.

  • We will keep residents informed and use what they tell us to shape our decisions.

  • We will explore new ways to ‘co-produce’ services. This means working with service users and partners to make services better.

  • We will work out the best way to engage with all WMCA communities and involve them in decision-making.

  • We will carry on engaging and talking to community groups across all the protected characteristics.

Theme 3. Social value: Deliver equality through procurement (buying in goods and services) by making sure that contractors act fairly and meet our equality principles, and that social value (benefits for people and communities) is delivered through WMCA contracts.
Main activities:
  • We will carry on treating equality as an essential part of the procurement process.

  • We will collect diversity data on business procurement and use it to make sure we’re attracting a diverse range of suppliers.

  • We will look for ways to have a bigger, broader impact with our social value policy.

Theme 4. Influencing change: Work with regional organisations to increase diversity at senior levels and find opportunities for change.
Main activities:
  • We will follow RACE Code principles to increase diversity at senior levels in the WMCA.

  • We will make sure that the Young Combined Authority can challenge and influence WMCA policies and decisions.

  • We will support Leadership Commission activity to permanently improve diversity at senior levels.

  • We will bring together a Race Equalities Task force to help us to address racial inequalities.

  • We will bring together a Life Chances Commission to help us to understand barriers for young people in the region and find ways to remove these barriers.

  • We will bring together partners in a Coalition for Digital Inclusion.

  • We will setup a Mental Health Commission to help us understand the challenges and priorities after COVID-19.

Objective 3 main outcomes:
  • WMCA will keep it’s Race Code accreditation.

  • A vibrant, representative Young Combined Authority will influence our policies effectively.

  • There will be a regional commitment to increase diversity at senior workforce levels.

  • Social value will be used effectively so that goods and services are ethical and have positive social outcomes.

  • A fair procurement process will attract a diverse range of suppliers.

  • We will engage with residents consistently, and what they tell us will influence decision-making.

  • Equality impacts will be central in decisions about all the most important areas of WMCA work.

  • Mental health outcomes will be better for West Midlands residents.

  • Strong efforts will be underway to tackle regional racial inequalities.


Objective 4: Provide an accessible, diverse and inclusive working environment by improving the recruitment, retention, progression, development and overall experience of WMCA staff, helping the organisation to become an inclusive employer that people want to work for, where equality informs our culture and behaviour.
Theme 1. Workforce diversity: Attract and hire a wider pool of candidates that reflects regional diversity, and make sure that employees can make the most of their skills and talents.
Main activities:
  • We will review and improve how we recruit staff.

  • We will use the apprenticeship levy to improve the skills of people from under-represented groups and give them more work experience.

  • We will deliver staff development initiatives, including Career Pathways, and make sure there is fair access to promotions.

Theme 2. Employee equality awareness and competence: Improve staff equality and diversity skills, making sure that they are confident, well skilled and actively engaged in delivering equality.
Main activities:
  • We will run regular equality campaigns.

  • We will keep delivering equality training, including targeted training for managers and customer-facing staff.

  • We will develop other resources to help staff to be more aware of equalities.

Theme 3. Understand and improve staff experience, listen to staff on equality issues, and make sure that they understand their responsibility for delivering the equality agenda.
Main activities:
  • We will help our staff diversity networks to develop.

  • We will do regular surveys to understand what staff think about equality.

  • We will make equalities a central part of the new individual performance management framework.

  • We will introduce objectives for senior leadership that are focused on equality,diversity and inclusion.

Theme 4. Supporting employee wellbeing and equality of outcomes: Make sure that employees feel supported and are treated fairly, and that positive mental health and wellbeing is seen as important across the organisation.
Main activities:
  • We will raise awareness of widespread health conditions that are linked to lifestyle (like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and stroke) and help employees to make lifestyle changes.
  • We will make wellbeing an important part of our hybrid working policy.
  • We will look for ways to improve staff benefits.
  • We will create ‘resilience’ and ‘stress’ tool kits.
  • We will find other ways to support employees’ mental health.
Theme 5. Workforce data and transparency: Improve the quality of equality and diversity workforce data we collect, use it more effectively to address barriers to employment for under-represented groups, and make the information publicly available.
Main activities:
  • We will carry on monitoring our workforce to understand how well different groups are represented.

  • We will do an equal pay audit every two years.

  • We will report any pay gaps between different minority groups.

  • We will set race and gender diversity targets.

Objective 4 main outcomes:
  • Staff diversity will increase where gaps have been identified, including at senior levels.

  • All staff will complete all compulsory training on equality and diversity.

  • Staff engagement and satisfaction levels in staff surveys will be high. Staff will report positive views of inclusion in the workplace.

  • Internal mentoring and positive action initiatives will be successful.

  • We will achieve Gold Covenant status and we will keep our Disability Confident Leader and Leaders in Diversity status.

  • We will reach silver Thrive at Work status.

  • Staff sickness absence rates will stay low.

  • The gender pay gap will be lower.

  • Senior leadership will show clearly that they are committed to inclusion.

A detailed action plan is included with this Scheme as Appendix A. It identifies actions under each individual theme.