One of Action for Race Equality’s newest programmes, the Infrastructure Resilience Programme, is working to create strong foundations for the Black, Asian, Mixed-heritage and Minority ethnic-led employability sector.
We believe that the employability sector for young people – especially when it comes to Black, Asian and Minority ethnic-led organisations – has been underfunded for many years.
But, thanks to generous funding from the Youth Futures Foundation, our two-year Infrastructure Resilience Programme is working to strengthen organisations providing culturally competent employment support. It will run until June 2024.
The aim: to tackle youth unemployment and build capacity, knowledge and sustainability collaboratively across national providers. And at the heart of it, young people’s voices will join organisational perspectives on a co-design journey to ensure the Programme’s accessibility and relevance to young people.
This will form part of ARE’s upcoming Youth Panel.
Did you know?
Progressing the agenda
ARE is currently supporting a cohort of organisations feel better equipped to support Black, Asian, Mixed and minority-ethnic young people into good jobs and longstanding, meaningful careers.
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, Tower Hamlets
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.
A ‘Deep Dive’ is also now underway to understand the needs of the Black, Asian & Minority ethnic-led employability sector better, and what already is or what isn’t working.
Limited spaces are available to Black, Asian or minority-led employability organisation, based outside London, interested in taking part in this work.
The programme also features the following elements :
Those involved in the Deep Dive will take part in organisational development activities.
These will consist of a series of peer-learning exercises and consultancy sessions, which may cover areas such as building relationships with employers, and how to make a business case for culturally competent frameworks.
ARE is also keen to support organisation understand their fundraising methods for this work, including holding “Meet the Funders sessions” where providers will be able to talk to funders about what their priorities could/should focus on – hearing directly from those working with young people to understand their needs/.
Systems Leaders Knowledge Transfer
We will be recognising and offering opportunities for those involved in the youth employment field with particular specialisms to deliver sessions sharing their knowledge/best practice to colleagues in the sector.
Two conferences/events will be held to bring together employability providers, young people, employers, funders and other stakeholders working to support young people from marginalised backgrounds into quality employment including apprenticeship
Developing a quality framework
To support organisations self-assess and understand their own progress, we will be developing a quality framework for organisations, aimed at driving up quality in the sector.
Read about how ARE developed the Mentoring Quality Framework for the GLA with other organisations, as part of the New Deal for Young People .
ARE will be creating and running a panel of young people aged 16-24 who will inform the programme with their thoughts/comments/experiences and bring the voice of young people into this work.
This is upcoming. For more information, contact Project Support Officer and Youth Panel Lead, Victoria Atanda
About the programme
Action for Race Equality was announced as one of seven organisations to benefit from the £1.3 million Infrastructure Fund from Youth Futures Foundation in June 2022.
Youth Futures Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established in December 2019 to improve employment outcomes for young people from marginalised backgrounds. The Foundation launched with an initial endowment of £90m from the Dormant Assets Scheme. Its vision is to narrow the employment gap by identifying what works and why, investing in evidence generation and innovation, and igniting a movement for change.
Contact: Programme Director, Indra Nauth