Strong foundations for the Black, Asian & Minority ethnic-led employability sector
Our two-year programme for the Black, Asian and minority ethnic-led employability sector. This infrastructure programme has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Youth Futures Foundation’s Infrastructure Resilience Fund.
We want to strengthen employability services for young people from Black, Asian, minority ethnic backgrounds . We are working with employability organisations led by those from these backgrounds, to tackle youth unemployment, and build resilience collaboratively with these providers.
We know young people from these communities need employability programmes that offer holistic support from practitioners with cultural competency and, in many cases, similar lived experiences. While many organisations already provide this, they have been chronically underfunded, putting pressures on services to young people.
A key element of this programme is our Youth Panel, where young people aged 16-24 across England will be able to share their views on what employability providers need to be thinking about and doing, to support them into jobs. In addition, young people will be sharing their employment journeys including their job search and recruitment experiences.
The programme has also invited interested organisations to take part in a “deep-dive” element, helping ARE co-design the programme. These are:
Listening to experts
Employability organisations have told ARE they want to work with other leaders to support collaborative organisational change. Their vision is to harness each others’ strengthens and together find effective strategies to help young people on their pathways to employment.
The programme will enable like-minded organisations from Black, Asian, and Minoritised communities across the country to come together to share good practices and identify the specific and diverse support-needs of organisations who are engaging young people within the employability sector. This will help us to increase our collective capacity to move towards sustainability.Henry Ngawoofah
Director at GIFT, Manchester
By the end of the programme, ARE hopes to have grown and developed a network of employability, training and education providers who are equipped to build relationships with employers, find innovative solutions to young people’s needs and in a confident space to prepare young people for work.
We’re really excited to be part of a collective that will ensure young people and their voices [through ARE’s Youth Panel] help shape stronger opportunities for under-represented young people across England. This work will have a long-lasting, positive, and direct impact , improving the quality of life our young people and their peers”Syed Uddin, Head of Charity
Leaders in Community, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
We are grateful to the Youth Futures Foundation for their support for the Infrastructure Programme
Young people from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely than their white peers to be in low-paid or insecure employment, to be on a zero-hours contract, or to have more than one job. The barriers they face include the culture and practices of some workplaces, lack of access to opportunities for development and progression, and socio-economic factors, as well as discrimination and stereotyping.
Personalised, flexible provision, holistic employment support, and access to learning or paid work experience can all help overcome these challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated some existing ethnic inequalities in employment.Narrowing the Gap: tackling ethnic disparities in youth employment, Youth Futures Foundation, 2022
Indra Nauth, Programme Director
We want to ensure that the Black, Asian, Mixed and minority ethnic-led employability sector has consistent, high-quality provision to support young people into employment; whether that is by providing mentoring, delivering employability support, working with employers to source and fill vacancies and/or providing wraparound services.
We are working to:
- Understand the challenges and barriers that hinder delivery of quality employability programmes to young people aged 16-24 across England
- Facilitate the sharing of best practice to strengthen the work being done to support young Black, Asian and Minority ethnic people
- Launch a Youth Panel to shape our work
- Collectively develop ideas to shape the ideal programme for these young people and pitch this programme to funders including the Youth Futures Foundation
- Facilitate ‘Meet the funder’ sessions with Youth Futures Foundation to share findings from this work and pitch the programme idea
- Create a Systems Leaders’ Knowledge Transfer by using coaches, consultants and trainers from our sector to share their knowledge and lend their insights.
- Support organisational development
What’s in the programme
We will develop and a support a network of employability organisations across England, so they in turn, can be more effective in their work to support Black, Asian and minority-ethnic young people on their pathways to employment.
The programme has already invited 8 interested organisations to take part in a ‘deep dive’ element. ARE is working with them to help them become more proficient and effective in their employability work. The organisations are also helping us co-design the programme to ensure it is effective and appropriately supports the sector.
- Support and facilitate knowledge sharing with system leaders
- Develop a quality framework for employability services and support
- Establish and support a Youth Panel to ensure young people have a voice throughout the programme
- Organise a national conference
To be eligible for the infrastructure programme, your organisation must be one where at least 51% of your governing body identify from these backgrounds: Black, Asian or other minority ethnic group.
You must be based in England and work with young people aged 16-24 providing employability support and services. You must also want to actively work with other organisations to share learning to strengthen what they, and your organisation, do.
Taking action on youth unemployment
We want young people to share their thoughts on what is important to help other young people get into work and our Youth Panel will ensure their voices are heard. They will also help to inform conversations with employability providers on what they feel providers need to do, to support young people into employment.
Young Black people aged 16-24 and those from Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds have some of the highest unemployment rates. For young Black people the unemployment rate is nearly three times the rate of their White counterparts. Read the latest report from The Youth Futures Foundation, Narrowing the Gap: tackling ethnic disparities in youth employment.
For more information, contact Indra Nauth, Programme Director