Action for Race Equality, in partnership with award-winning creative agency BLITZWORKS, is excited to launch its inaugural campaign aimed at reducing deep-seated unemployment disparities in London.
Through our Moving on Up programme, which is supported by the Trust for London and City Bridge Trust, we are targetting Senior Business Leaders and HR teams take action to tap into London’s Black talent pool – especially when it comes to supporting the hiring and retention of young Black men in Construction, Finance and Tech.
Startling statistics reveal that young Black men are up to three times more likely to face unemployment compared to their white counterparts, irrespective of their qualifications. Despite comprising 21% of London’s young male population, they account for only 4% of the construction sector and 5% of the tech workforce. 
Moving on Up’s Tap Into the wealth of London’s Black Talent campaign, which will be running on LinkedIn over the coming weeks, kicked off with an exclusive film premiere on Monday 17th July at EY’s offices in Canary Wharf. Supported by BYP Network, Digital Execs Recruitment, WTW, DDG Construction and EY, it gathered an audience of young Black men aged 16-24, and Chief Executives and Hiring Managers from various industries to understand the importance of collective action, and change from the top down.
Ahead of the launch, young Black men were invited to participate in a series of practical, career-building workshops conducted by BLITZWORKS, the Great Pitch Company, and Digital Execs Recruitment on enhancing their CV-writing, interview and pitching skills. This was followed by a panel discussion for employers and EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) allies on the theme of how companies can go “From good intentions to impactful actions?” featuring:
- Phin Mpofu, BYP Growth Director (Recruitment)
- Mduduzi Mswabuki, Partner & D&I lead, EY (Finance)
- Slaheoldine Thomas, DDG Group (Construction)
- Ian Benjamin, Digital Executives (Tech)
- Mark Beardall, Chief Information Officer, WTW
- Jeremy Crook OBE, Chief Executive of Action for Race Equality
Film director, Neron Power was also in the audience to share his drive to create a film that centres young Black men and has a clear call-to-action to employers: “step up your efforts in getting young Black men into your workforces, and empower them to reach their full potential.”
Phin Mpofu, BYP Growth Director, challenged employers to take action by committing to mentoring at least two young Black men, emphasising the importance of role-model visibility and mentorship in creating real change.
One young attendee speaking to the panel powerfully expressed, “No one is actually talking to us. I have to fight my way to the room. I’m not a statistic. I should be noticed as soon as I stand.”
What next for employers?
Wrapping up the session, Jeremy Crook OBE, Chief Executive of Action for Race Equality, urged CEOs to assess their recruiters’ progress in reflecting the profile of young Black men in London. He emphasised that achieving a representation of 1 in 5 of all young men should not be a distant target but an achievable goal.
To facilitate this journey, the Inclusive Employers’ Toolkit, endorsed by the Mayor of London in 2020 and produced with Moving on Up, is a useful starting point to embark on or revitalise the journey to inclusion.
Employers welcomed the Inclusive Employers Toolkit when the Mayor launched it in 2020. CEO’s should now be honestly asking their recruiters how close they are to reflecting the profile of young Black men in London, which is currently 1 in 5 (21%) of all young men. For many, that is still a distant target.Jeremy Crook OBE
But it needn’t be. Whilst we know everyone’s journey to inclusion looks different, there are ways to get to a more equitable workforce. This toolkit is a practical, step-by-step starting point. If would like continue that journey with like-minded employers, ARE welcomes Senior Leaders to join our Employer Champions Group for encouragement and support.”
If you, as an employer, are ready to make a tangible difference and continue your inclusion journey with like-minded employers, or to find out more about using the Toolkit in your workforce, we invite you to join our dedicated Employer Champions Group.
To find out more about joining Moving on Up or using the Mayor’s Toolkit, please contact Indra Nauth, Programme Director.
About Moving on Up:
Action for Race Equality has been committed to dismantling employment disparities faced by young Black men since 1991. Through our Moving on Up programme, a ten-year positive employment initiative, we create pathways into apprenticeships, employment, and training. We advocate for government and corporate initiatives to better support the hiring, retention, and progression of young Black men in the workforce. The program is supported by Trust for London, City Bridge Trust, Brent Council, Newham Council, and Jobcentre Plus.