A community group founder has joined calls for mandatory ethnic pay gap reporting to help tackle differences in wages between groups.

The Future Focus Network (TFFN) offers career and jobs advice to people from Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets.

Its founder, Abdul Hamid, has said figures prove members of ethnic minorities are being hit worst by Covid-19 related job losses.

He added while the losses affect all groups, statistics show black, Asian and minority ethnic populations are "disproportionately impacted".

The former recruitment consultant said ethnic minorities were heavily represented in sectors that have suffered the most redundancies, such as hospitality, retail and manufacturing.

He pointed to a Guardian analysis showing black, Asian and other ethnic minority people suffered the most job cuts with the number in work dropping 26 times more than the drop for white workers in the year to September 2020.

It showed the employment rate for people from ethnic minorities slumped 5.3 per cent compared to a 0.2pc decrease in the number of employed white workers.

Mr Hamid called for pay differences between ethnic groups to be reported as well as more effort to tackle zero hours contracts and low pay.

A government spokesperson said: "We are working closely with businesses to consider what steps can be taken to build more representative workplaces.

"We welcome the recent publication of the report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities and are considering its recommendations. We have carried out a consultation on ethnicity pay reporting which we will respond to in due course."

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that the country's overall jobless rate fell to 4.9 per cent between December and February, down from 5pc in the previous three months.

But the figures also show the number of workers on UK payrolls fell by 56,000 in March after three months of increases.

Overall there were 813,000 fewer workers on payrolls than in March 2020, with more than half of those - 436,000 - aged under 25.

Mr Hamid said: "It is so important to ensure [young people] upskill. Nobody's job is 100 per cent safe and secure."

Barking and Dagenham Post: TFFN is offering 35 people free help with career and employment skills.TFFN is offering 35 people free help with career and employment skills. (Image: Abdul Hamid)

TFFN is offering free mentoring, training and more to 35 people, mainly women from ethnic minorities across east London.

Email lara.shah@tffn.co.uk