The BBC has been forced to defend itself after it posted a BAME-only (black, Asian and non-white minority ethnic) job opportunity on its website.
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen criticised the BBC for not supporting “those most in need of a leg up and most struggling in our education system”.
The BBC said the 12-month trainee broadcast journalist job is legal under the Equality Act.
A BBC spokesperson said: “This is not a job, but simply a training and development opportunity. This training scheme is designed as a positive action scheme to address an identified under-representation of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in certain roles.
“Such schemes are allowed under the Equality Act and we're proud to be taking part.”
Ofcom guidance says organisations will not break the law if a job is “aimed at addressing disadvantage or under-representation experienced by people sharing particular protected characteristics”.
The publically-funded broadcaster has previously been criticised for not accurately representing the UK. In 2016, it pledged to make sure 15 per cent of its workforce was from BAME backgrounds.
Dr Jill Miller, CIPD diversity and inclusion adviser, said: “To create inclusive workplaces, organisations must understand the underlying reasons behind a lack of diversity. That means looking more widely at why minority groups either don’t apply for roles in the first place, or aren’t successful in the recruitment process.”