All the BTEG - Black Training and Enterprise Group - news for September 2013
 

In this issue:

Issue 24 - September 2013

Jeremy Crook OBE writes:

Jeremy CrookI hope that you had a good summer and made the most of the unusually good weather.
We welcomed the Home Office’s consultation on stop and search and I am pleased that BTEG and Runnymede Trust successfully applied on behalf the Race Equality Coalition to the Home Office and Equality and Human Rights Commission to fund a series of local consultations. Let’s hope the consultation results in change on the ground. 
Interestingly, Jacqui Smith, the former Labour Home Secretary, is now calling for the Met Police and Government to introduce ‘positive discrimination’ (not allowed under the Equality Act) if all other efforts fail to increase the unrepresentative 1 in 10 BAME officers currently in the Met’s ranks.
I mention this for two reasons, firstly I think there is a link between stop and search and the recruitment of BAME people, especially young black men. Secondly, until the Met fundamentally overhauls its recruitment and promotion processes and focuses on root and branch organisation cultural change it is unlikely that positive discrimination would be a short or long-term solution. The Met needs to learn lessons from the Northern Ireland Police Service as well. 
I mentioned in the last issue that BTEG has been advising the London Borough of Hackney (LBH) on its multi-million pound construction procurement 2014. BTEG had recommended to LBH and Hackney Homes that they host an event for potential large and small firms before the tender process starts to explain their intention to see local SME and BME firms benefiting from sub-contracting opportunities. Positively the event took place in September and between 40-50 companies attended. However, only three BME firms were present. We understand that many BME construction firms have gone out of business since 2008 but we hope that the local SME and BME firms that attended the event will feature in the supply chains of the successful tenders.
I am pleased to report that Baroness Lola Young, BTEG and Clinks met with Chris Grayling, Minister for Justice, in July to discuss about the new review being led by Baroness Young into Criminal Justice System commissioning and improving outcomes for young black and Muslim men aged 18-24. The Minister welcomed the review and asked for interim recommendations to be sent to him at the end of year. 
Our community role model programme Routes2 Success is now set to deliver activities for black boys and young black men. We have a joint event with the Croydon BME forum on 5 October for school age black boys. We want to hear from black groups, schools and Pupil Referral Units and faith organisations. We also want to hear from young black males 11-25 that want to get involved in the project and shape how the project is delivered. If you want to support a small group of young black males to start their own local project let us know. Contact the R2S team for more information.
BTEG has continued to meet with Jobcentre Plus in London about their intention to implement a plan to increase employment rates for young black men. Similarly we have attended meetings with London Borough of Hackney officials to inform their thinking on what they can do to improve outcomes for young black males in the borough. We are looking forward to concrete actions being agreed in the coming months.
Finally BTEG, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, ABi Associates and PJ’s Community Services have successfully fundraised to pilot a two year entrepreneurship programme in Brent, Haringey and Croydon for unemployed 18-30 year olds. It has taken nearly two years to complete the funding package. It would be great to hear from any corporates that want to support this initiative by providing mentors and know how.

News and Updates

Routes2Success

Over 20 volunteer black male role models signed up

BTEG is delighted to announce that we have now recruited over 20 enthusiastic, motivated and successful black male volunteers. The role models will make a difference to the next generation by inspiring young black males 11-25 years to reach their full potential.

We are still recruiting to build our volunteer force of successful black men so please do spread the word.

In June 2013, we held our first Role Model Induction Training Day, it was a very successful day with many of the role models leaving feeling ready to inspire the next generation.

I was quite inspired and feel strongly that the future is bright when black men take responsibility and come to a higher consciousness that we can make an effort to shape and help the destinies of others as we have also been privileged...’ – Alvin Kuti (R2S role model).

Feedback was very positive from the event and our second induction day will take place in October.

In July, the second R2S Role Model Recruitment event hosted at The Drum in Birmingham. The event entitled You can make a difference to the future of young black males’ was very positive and we are now hopeful that some of those that attend will submit an application form to serve as R2S role models.

We are now engaging with local and statutory organisations, so that our R2S role models can go out and inspire young black males to reach their full potential in education, employment and entrepreneurship. It is encouraging to see the responses coming from local youth groups from areas such as Liverpool and Manchester; as well as Young Offender Institutions, Children’s Homes and schools who want to engage in the Routes2Success Programme in order to help young black men that they work with. If you are a local organisation that wants to be a part of the programme please get in touch!

We are hosting a joint event with the Croydon BME Forum: Simply the Best: Inspiring Black boys to Succeed’, at Croydon Conference Centre on Saturday 5th October 2013. This event will bring together parents, young people, teachers, voluntary sector organisations, and other key stakeholders. We will be focusing on raising attainment achievement amongst black boys aged 10-16 years old in Croydon.

Also, look out for the up and coming event at the Lift Youth Hub in Islington for Black History Month on Friday 25th October featuring BTEG’s R2S role models.


BTEG Criminal Justice Network News

Clinks Partnership Finder is now open for applications

Clinks have launched a new online database system to put prime providers and VCS organisations in contact with each other.

Partnership Finder is an online directory of Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations working in criminal justice that allows you to promote your organisation to potential partners, commissioners and prime providers. It launched on 1st August 2013

If you’re looking to promote your organisation, then find out more here


 

BTEG supports first community conference for London Somali community around young people and the justice system in London

BTEG was happy to support this event organised by CSO (Council of Somali Organisations). Around 30 delegates heard presentations around data, community interventions and the view of a London Youth Offending Service. BTEG hopes to work with CSO on a possible follow-up and in pursuing policy makers on this agenda through our CJS work.

Further details and a conference report will follow.

 

Chris Grayling MP launches competition for new probation service providers

The Secretary of State has launched the competition for 21 contracts to deliver support services for offenders and to reduce the UK’s high reoffending rates. BTEG will be doing everything we can to ensure BAME offenders and their families see improvement in their outcomes and BAME providers are given an opportunity to deliver some of this work

The deadline for submission of Pre-Qualification Questionnaires is noon on 31 October 2013.

Further details http://bit.ly/1aN733M


 

HMIP report highlights high levels of violence at Feltham YOI

An Inspector’s report into Feltham YOI described it as an unacceptably violent institution. This comes as numbers fall and the proportion of BAME young people incarcerated in these institutions rises.


News From Around the Sector

 

Reach Recognition Awards Dinner

The Reach Society Recognition Awards, honouring professional men and women who willingly reach back to inspire young people, will be taking place at the Charing Cross Hotel on 19th October.

More information here

 

Nick Clegg calls on banks to do more to support ethnic minority business

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has called on Britain’s banks to do more to ensure that everyone who wants to start a business is given the opportunity to turn their ideas and aspirations into successful enterprises.

Speaking at a meeting in Manchester with senior banking figures and entrepreneurs from ethnic minorities, he said, “It is vital that all businesses have fair access to viable finance as the country looks to rebuild the economy.”

Full story here

 

Young Advisors

The Young Advisors Charity is a youth led organisation with a board that consists mostly of young people.

Young Advisors are young people aged between 15 and 21, who stimulate social action by showing community leaders and decision makers how to engage young people in community life, local decision making and improving services.

Learn more here

 

Islington Voluntary Sector Conference 2013: Meeting the needs of our communities in tough times

The conference will explore how we can take forward our services to the community despite increasing demand and fewer resources. Come together with workers, volunteers, trustees and all those with a stake in voluntary and community work.

More details can be found here

 

Could you provide expert advice & support to social entrepreneurs?

Unltd is a leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK. It has a strategy to bring people together in a common cause to inspire hope for the future and build people’s confidence to act.

Over the years to 2015, they will be working with community entrepreneurs to encourage social capital in disadvantaged areas, which is crucial to create lasting change. They will be working with the social entrepreneurs who can grow their venture to major impact rapidly, to tackle the social challenges we face.

They are currently looking for mentors to work with social entrepreneurs to pass on their experience and expertise and to give something back to the community.

More information here

 

FREE Emergency Life Support training

The Claudia Jones Organisation and the British Heart Foundation are holding a FREE Emergency Life Support training to support, learn key skills and techniques and become more professional and confident to deal with lifesaving emergencies.

To book a place, call 020 7241 1646 or email info@claudiajonesorganisation.com for more information.

 

Unemployment up by 74% among BAME women in Coventry –
New report uncovers cost of cuts

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women are among some of the hardest hit by the Government’s programme of spending cuts according to a ground-breaking new report published today by the Centre for Human Rights in Practice at the University of Warwick, Coventry Women’s Voices, Coventry Ethnic Minority Action Partnership and Foleshill Women’s Training.

The report, Layers of inequality: a human rights and equality impact assessment of the cuts on BAME women in Coventry examines for the first time the combined impact on BAME women of cuts in a range of areas including  employment, housing, welfare benefits, health, social care, education, legal aid, violence against women and voluntary organisations.

The impact of the cuts that have already taken place will be made worse by announcements in the spending review that will particularly affect BAME women.

Although the report focusses on Coventry, its findings are likely to apply across the UK. Findings of the report include:

BAME women are more likely to work in the public sector so have been disproportionately affected by job cuts and pay freezes. Unemployment among BAME women in Coventry increased by 74.4% between 2009 and 2013. Unemployment among white British women increased by 30.5% during the same period.

The cuts to local government budgets announced in the spending review will lead to further job cuts for BAME women.

BAME women are more likely to be poor and receive a higher proportion of their income from benefits and tax credits. Cuts to welfare benefits will cost all women in Coventry £76 million a year out of a total of £112 million(2). BAME women are among those hardest hit – the Government’s assessment of the benefits cap concluded that 40% of families affected would include someone who is BAME.

As a range of agencies have warned, the delay of a week before someone can claim benefits when they lose a job may increase child poverty and force people who lose their job to turn to loan sharks and food banks. BAME women are likely to be disproportionately affected because of their greater poverty.

Report author Kindy Sandhu from Coventry Women’s Voices said:

Our report shows that BAME women are among the hardest hit by public spending cuts across many areas. Now the spending review is making a bad situation worse. BAME women will lose more jobs, more money and more services. This is a big issue for Coventry since a third of our population is BAME, but it will be the same for BAME women across the country. We did not cause this situation, but we are paying the price for it.

Report co-author, Dr James Harrison of the Centre for Human Rights in Practice said:

The combined impact of cuts to benefits and services will disproportionately affect many of the poorest and most vulnerable BAME women in Coventry. Public authorities both nationally and here in Coventry have legal obligations under the Equality Act and the Human Rights Act to promote equality and protect human rights. They need to take these obligations very seriously when making decisions about budget cuts.

Varinder Kaur from Coventry Ethnic Minority Action Partnership said:

The announcement that job seekers must learn English in the spending review seems designed to demonise us. The problem is not that people refuse to learn English – the problem is that it is getting harder to get on an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class. The Government seems to be deliberately creating the impression that the problem is about people who don’t speak English but claim benefits, even though they must know that the proportion of people who are claiming benefits and can’t speak English is miniscule, far smaller than the proportion of people who want to learn English but can’t get on a course.

Christine McNaught from Foleshill Women’s Training said:

At Foleshill Women’s Training we provide health and employment services to women in one of the poorest parts of Coventry. The women who use our centre are suffering increased poverty because of benefit cuts, longer waiting times for medical treatment and cuts to local services. And because our funding has fallen from £450k in 2010/11 to £190k in 2012/13 we have fewer resources to support them.


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