Action for Race Equality (ARE) were delighted to speak at the Breaking the Cycle of High Youth Unemployment on Thursday 26th January. The event was hosted by 21K Digital Media – a Black-led organisation based in Edmonton working to increase access to digital media and technology apprenticeships.
Speakers at the inspiring event included, Doris Jiagge, Mayor of Enfield, representatives from the Youth Futures Foundation, and Moving on Up’s Programme Manager, Indra Nauth.
A pressing need for change
Census data from 2021 for the Borough of Enfield shows an increase in the population for Black, Asian and mixed heritage groups, with the Somali population increasing by 378%, ‘Other Black’ by 109% and Pakistani and Bangladeshi populations increasing by 42.1% and 45.4% respectively.
Historically, these groups have had high unemployment compared to other groups. ARE believes targeted and culturally competent support will be required to progress young people from these groups into work.
ARE has participated in several 21K Digital Media workshops and at the last meeting called on the Council to develop an action plan to tackle race disparities in employment including apprenticeships. It is great to see the council supporting the event.
ARE calls on the Enfield council to drive change through and inclusive and transparent approach in line with their Fairer Enfield Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy 2021-2025, which contains a commitment to, ‘Encourage and support local businesses and employers to provide training , apprenticeships and employment opportunities to young people who are not in education, training and employment.’
Following this, we would like to see Enfield council publish the following ethnicity and gender data for 16-24 year olds:
- Employment rate
- Unemployment rate
- Council apprenticeship starts and completions.
- Apprenticeship starts for the borough.
- Graduate employment and unemployment rates
- Councils’ workforce data
We want to see the local ethnic minority employability sector working closely with the Council, FE& HE institutions, Jobcentre Plus and employers to make sure there are effective pathways for all young people to good employment opportunities. Without relevant ethnicity data it is hard to see how an effective local action plan can be produced and monitored by local ethnic minority organisations.
ARE works collaboratively and wants to help Enfield council deliver on its equality commitments for young people not in education, employment and training. The council also needs the commitment of the college, Jobcentre Plus and employers to open up employment opportunities.
Other key factors include up to date ethnicity data and a costed local action plan. ARE works closely with Brent and Newham councils through our Moving on Up and local charities to improve employment outcomes for young Black men, and we’d like to see Enfield adopt a similar approach based on local youth ethnicity data.’
Learn more about our work supporting employment opportunities for young Black men through Moving on Up.
If you’d like to make a request for a speaker from ARE, please contact Payal Bhavsar, Communications and Engagement Officer
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