UK Sikhs better educated, but their women still fall prey to sexual grooming gangs

| London, UK | 1 Dec 2016 Asia Samachar |

survey4UK Sikhs are twice as more likely to have a degree or higher qualification compared to the average population, least likely to be unemployed and a good majority of them staying in their own homes.

On the flip side, Sikhs in the UK are still targets for conversion to other faiths while their women are still becoming victims to sexual grooming gangs.

These are some of the findings of the UK Sikh Survey 2016 recently released by Sikh Network. The survey is said be the largest and most comprehensive ever survey of UK Sikhs.

One in four Sikhs over the age of 16 taking part in the UK Sikh Survey 2016 have been personally or know a friend or relative who has been targeted or experienced conversion to another faith. The figure rises to 30% for respondents under the age of 40.

On sexual grooming, 13% of those surveyed (aged between 16-30) have themselves or know a friend or relative who has been a victim or a target for sexual grooming. The figure rises to 15% when considering responses from Sikh women and 17% when examining responses from Sikhs under the age of 30.

On education, the UK Sikh Survey indicated that those aged 16 to 74 with a degree or equivalent higher qualification has increased to a ‘staggering’ 58.2%, up from 46% as captured in the 2001 national census. In 2001, at 23%, Christians had the lowest percentage.

The latest UK jobless rate is at an 11-year low of 4.8%, but the UK Sikh Survey shows the figure for Sikhs is 2.7%. In August 2016 the Women and Equalities Committee reported 12.8% of Muslims were unemployed.

The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show the number of self-employed workers is increasing and accounts for 15% of all people in work. The UK Sikh Survey shows 22.3% of Sikhs in work are self-employed.

In the 2011 Census in terms of employment, the report said Jews and Sikhs had the highest percentage of people in the ‘Managers, directors and senior officials’ category at 19.4% and 13.3%. Muslims are the religious group most likely to perform lower skilled jobs with 13% holding ’process, plant or machinery roles’ compared to the national average of 7% and 14% doing ‘elementary occupations’ compared to the national average of 11%.

The aim of the survey is to provide a way forward for policy think tanks and key policy makers in their acknowledgement of recognising the needs and aspirations of the British Sikh community, the report said.

The survey, conducted over 10 weeks between May and August 2016, comprised 4,559 responses. It was a combination of self-selection and targeting of groups like the elderly or non-digital population, that are more difficult to reach through self-selection, to ensure a better cross section of the community was covered.

The Sikh Network describes itself as being responsible for co-ordinating dialogue with the UK Government on behalf of British Sikhs with respect to the Sikh Manifesto 2015-2020, a document prepared before the last UK general election.


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    This report contains the network’s findings and is intended to assist government departments, other public bodies and political parties to understand existing trends and developments of the British Sikh community.

    Over the coming months and years we expect to produce a series of more detailed papers on single issues, especially where there is a clear need from a public policy perspective.

    This report looks at four key themes which tie in with different parts of the Sikh Manifesto released in January 2015. These themes are:

    1. Sikh identity

    2. Discrimination, hates crime and grooming

    3. Education, employment and contribution to society

    4. Political activism and representation

    Key points from these themes are below.

    Section 1 – Sikh identity

    • 69% of all Sikhs are born in the UK

    • Over 91% of Sikhs in the UK have British nationality

    • 19 out of 20 Sikhs reject being described as ‘Indian’ or ‘Asian’

    • 93.5% of Sikhs would welcome the inclusion of a separate ethnic tick box for Sikhs in the Census 2021

    • More than 94% of Sikhs would welcome a Statutory Code of Practice for the 5K’s and Sikh turban

    Section 2 – Discrimination. hate crime and grooming

    • 1 in 7 Sikhs directly experience discrimination in the workplace

    • 18% of Sikhs (nearly 1 in 5) have encountered discrimination in a public place in the last 12 months

    • 8% (or 1 in 12) have experienced discrimination when dealing with public officials in the last 12 months

    • Over 100,000 hate crimes against Sikhs aged 16 and over in the last 12 months

    • 30% under the age of 40 indicate being targeted to covert to another faith

    • More than 1 in 7 of Sikh women indicate being targeted by grooming gangs

    • 90% feel not enough is being done to tackle sexual grooming and forced conversions

    Section 3 – Education, employment and contribution to society

    • Sikhs twice as more likely to have a degree or higher qualification compared to the average for the population

    • Sikhs least likely to be unemployed, consistent with basic Sikh principle of working to earn an honest living

    • 92% of Sikhs are owner occupiers the highest for any group in the UK

    • Sikhs donate over £1.2 million a day to charities, equivalent to more than 6.5 times the average annual charitable donation per person

    • Four out of five think the UK Government has not done enough to recognise Sikh sacrifices in the First World War

    Section 4 – Political activism and representation

    • Sikhs had the highest turnout of any group in the last General Election

    • Sikhs 5 times more likely to be members of political parties

    • Political parties are struggling to get the vast majority of Sikh voters to identify with them

    • Nearly three quarters of Sikhs are dissatisfied with their MPs on taking forward Sikh issues

    • Only 1 in 9 Sikhs feel Parliament effectively represents them

    • More than three quarters indicate political engagement and interest would be increased if there were more Sikh MPs & Peers