Issue 31 - November 2014
Jeremy Crook OBE writes:
BTEG and the Centre for Social and Economic Inclusion hosted a stimulating event on entrepreneurship in October, exploring ways in which we could boost entrepreneurship in BAME communities. Entrepreneurship is not an easy option. Many unemployed people trying to make the transition into self- employment need to be focused, determined and supported effectively at the right time It’s clear that providers of start-up support should spend more time assessing the suitability of individuals expressing a desire to start a business as the dropout rates can be high..
Opening Doors Network (ODN), BTEG’s enterprise programme – funded by DCLG and Trust for London and delivered in partnership with three organisations in London - has completed its first year. We are learning a great deal about the needs of entrepreneurial unemployed people. Many participants struggle to complete their business plans and our partners are trying different ways of supporting participants to complete them.
ODN has now hosted two networking events and it is great to see individuals taking time out to meet with participants from different boroughs, established businesses and finance organisations. The most recent event was a speed networking event.
Over the past four years BTEG has been supported by the Ministry of Justice in establishing and supporting a national BAME voluntary and community network, providing a voice into the MoJ. We now have 38 organisations in our network but only a handful appear to have meaningful contracts with public bodies and/or large tier-one contractors. This remains a concern for BTEG and the forthcoming review that has been led by Baroness Lola Young over the past year.
NOMS recently announced a new Infrastructure Grant 2015/16 which we welcomed. However, despite references to BAME communities in the tender specification, it looks almost certain that no application for this programme will include a BAME infrastructure organisation. BTEG could not apply by itself and we have not been approached by any of the mainstream infrastructure organisations to add value to their bids. From our perspective we think infrastructure provision should lead by example and demonstrate diversity of perspectives and support. It is unlikely that the racial disproportionality in the criminal justice system will be solved if there is no BAME organisation charged with influencing large providers to do
better for BAME offenders.
Our Routes2Success programme continues to successfully reach out to young people. During Black History Month they travelled the country, along with R2S role models, delivering events through a variety of venues including schools, prisons and pupil referral units.
I will finish with a plug for our last event national event of the year on Apprenticeships and BAME communities – we need to ensure we find new ways to increase the number of BAME apprenticeships in this country which currently stands at 10%. Please do come along and hear from a range of apprenticeship providers and policy makers.
Apprenticeships for ethnic minorities: tackling the key challenges
8 December 2014
The number of apprenticeships has grown over the last decade and they are an increasingly important route into high quality jobs and careers.
However, only 10% of apprentices come from ethnic minorities. This proportion has been static for the last four years, despite many more ethnic minority young people leaving school with good GCSEs and applying for apprenticeships, and despite the fact that almost one-quarter of the candidates registered on the Apprenticeship Vacancies system are from ethnic minorities.
There has never been a better time to accelerate our efforts to ensure that all young people have an opportunity to succeed as apprentices.
Inclusion and BTEG are holding an event on 8th December to stimulate debate, share best practice and encourage greater use of the available levers to deliver equal opportunities in apprenticeships for all young people, irrespective of their personal characteristics.
Speakers will include:
Stephen Timms MP, Shadow Employment Team Labour Party
Tanya Lawes, BIS Policy Advisor, Apprenticeships Policy and Strategy Team
Julie Hutchinson, Director, Employment and Skills, ELBA
Gary Zetter & Jade Lawrence, mitie plc.
Yasmin Damree-Ralph, JTL Training
Marc Brown, Director of Quality & Training Provision, Step Ahead
Jeremy Crook OBE, Director of BTEG and Chair of BIS Apprenticeships Advisory Group
Dave Simmonds OBE, CEO of Inclusion
Download the programme http://bit.ly/1ub9jNQ
How to book http://bit.ly/1uaOthw