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BTEG - Black Training and Enterprise Group


ISSUE 21 - March 2013:

Please note that all 2012 newsletters are now available on the BTEG website


Jeremy Crook OBE writes:

Jeremy Crook OBEThe delay of spring coupled with the introduction of major welfare benefit changes has made the country feel especially cold. BTEG are not welfare system experts but we believe there was a need for a more efficient and fair welfare system that takes account of regional cost of living differences, people with disabilities and their families and family size.

However, some of the changes will only work if the housing supply drastically increases and matches the needs of individuals and families. The media and policy makers should not take untypical examples of welfare recipients and make generalisations about all people reliant on state benefits.

Many people in work today could find themselves out of work through no fault of their own. As a child my lone parent family was dependent on the welfare system for nearly a decade and life was hard. So we should be careful how we judge welfare claimants, every individual and family will have their own story.

The welfare system has probably not been fit for purpose for a very long time and was complicated, but it supports people that need help and this is why we value the welfare state. So change is necessary but we must not make benefit recipients carry the blame for the state of the economy and public finances.

Yes, there are some very poor areas in this country where welfare benefits make up a high proportion of income for many of the residents. The last government spent considerable sums trying to revitalise many of these neighbourhoods because they had been overlooked for decades by central and local government.

We are concerned that families will be uprooted and moved to unfamiliar areas where they may have no family and social connections. This is unlikely to improve their chances of finding work. We must not forget the impact some of these changes will have on children in welfare benefit dependent families in terms of their sense of security, happiness, nutrition, and education prospects. The costs to society down the road could outweigh the ‘savings’ being made now.

We have had an interesting month at BTEG. We hosted a joint roundtable with Clinks (the national umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in the criminal justice system system) on the issue of young black people in the criminal justice system. This important event was chaired by Baroness Lola Young and included senior representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Youth Justice Board and the prison inspectorate.

In partnership with Derby and Derbyshire Race and Equality Commission we hosted a positive seminar on BAME communities and the local CJS. This was supported by the local Police, Crime Commissioner and the local police. The man issues discussed were stop and search and hate crimes.

I would like to urge our network and the wider BAME voluntary and community sector to continue supporting our events and events organised by other race equality organisations. Whilst we are facing cuts or reductions in our organisational capacity, now is not the time to lose our voices, we must strengthen our voices and work together.

Jeremy Crook OBE
Director, BTEG

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News about BTEG

New Member of Staff

This week BTEG welcomes Brianna Cyrus as a member of staff. Brianna is the manager of our new Routes2Success programme, which aims is to inspire young black (of African, Caribbean or Mixed origin) males aged 11-25 years to raise their aspirations and to reach their full potential in learning, employment and entrepreneurship.

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Organisational Development

Knowing the Needs; Providing the Services

Boys in classGetting it Right for Young People

Many young BAME people are still not making sufficient progress on the social mobility ladder that we all want to see. On 16 April BTEG will be running this free event that will ask - and try to answer - why this is.

The event will be a combination of inspirational speakers, interactive and practical workshops and a ‘Question Time’ session with prominent panel members giving you an opportunity to ask questions directly.

Henry Bonsu, journalist and Colourful Radio presenter, will chair the Question Time session

Simon Woolley, Directory of Operation Black Vote, will be one of the speakers

Speaker and workshop topics include:

  • The young person’s perspective: what do BAME young people really need and what is preventing social mobility?

  • The organisation perspective: the challenges facing the BAME sector?

  • How to ensure the supply is matching the demand

  • How to capture impact and change

  • How to get more young people involved in the planning and management of projects

  • Building on our success and our collective social capital

For further information and booking details click here

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Routes2Success logoRoutes2Success

Search is on for Black male role models in England

BTEG is now recruiting volunteer role models to inspire young black men and boys to success. High-achieving businessmen and entrepreneurs are among the figures who will send out the message that anything is possible despite barriers such as discrimination and poverty. 

A national survey carried out last year found that 90% of young British men from African, Caribbean and mixed backgrounds want successful professionals from similar backgrounds to share their stories of how they made it to the top. 

The three-year role model programme is now being launched by BTEG. Routes2Success, funded by the Big Lottery and The Monument Trust, was given the title by the 11 to 25 year olds the scheme aims to support.

The challenge

Young black males in Britain face many challenges and can struggle to succeed. Racism and poverty can hold back young people from reaching their potential. Just a few of the statistics on this show that:

  • 42% of black Caribbean boys and 52% of African boys achieved 5 GCSEs A*-C including Maths and English in 2010/11 compared to 55% for the total male cohort. Education attainment levels for young black males are improving but we still have to do much better;

  • Only 3% of apprentices in England in 2010/11 were black;

  • 44% of young black people who were available for work in the 12 months to September 2012 were unemployed, compared with 24% of all young people;

  • 16% of young people detained in Young Offender Institutions in England and Wales in 2011/12 were black.i

Role models cannot solve all of the problems many young men encounter. But they can help young people to have more confidence in their abilities and to believe that anything is possible with hard work and dedication. Evidence from our previous role model programme showed that 83% of young people who listened to role models were inspired; they went away and thought more carefully about the need to plan their future and work hard at school and college.

Bola AbisogunBola Abisogun is a Routes2Success role model. He is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, born and raised in East London to Nigerian parents. Bola excelled at school and made history as the first black African to achieve a double First Class Honours in Quantity Surveying and Construction Management at the University of Wolverhampton. Following this achievement, Bola set up two businesses. Having experienced first-hand the ‘oppressive and often discriminatory’ nature of the construction industry, Bola understands the struggle that some young black males face, having to work twice as hard to succeed. Bola knows that not all young males have fathers in their lives but insists that ‘Boys need fathers or at the very least father figures’. For this reason he feels it is only right as a father of three sons to offer his spare time to support a cause in which he believes. ‘The next generation of black men is likely to be left behind in the ‘race for opportunity’…unless the Routes2Success project can make the much needed and wholly overdue conversion rate of ‘positive change’’.

BTEG is searching for more role models like Bola who can help to reach and inspire one thousand young black men and boys over the next two years. Volunteers will receive full training and support to become role models who will give presentations and talks in schools, colleges, community centres and other places.

Routes2Success (R2S) is an exciting new national programme set up to tackle this challenge head on by connecting 1200 young males with a volunteer force of successful black male role models to raise aspirations and encourage participants to follow the best routes to learning and career success. The objective is simple: to help improve education and employment outcomes and keep our young males away from the criminal justice system.

The programme will engage with a range of stakeholders including young black males, parents, role models, schools, pupil referral units, youth offending institutions and local community organisations. For an application form and to find out more click here


1 Percentage of eligible pupils gaining 5+A*-C grades including English & maths in maintained schools in England (including Academies) in 2010/11, Department for Education; Apprenticeship starts by ethnicity in England, 2010/11, The Data Service; Percentage of people aged 16 to 24 unemployed in the UK October 2011-September 2012, Annual Population Survey data from Office for National Statistics; Young people in custody by ethnicity 2011/12, Youth Justice Statistics, Ministry of Justice.

2. The Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG) is a national charity working to achieve race equality and improve outcomes for ethnic minority people in education, employment and enterprise. For more information about BTEG visit

3. For more information about BTEG or the Routes2Success programme contact Jeremy Crook OBE, Director, BTEG,, 020 832 5810 or 07766114877.

4. To apply to become a Routes2Success role model, contact Janine Goodin-Dear, Project Support Officer, or visit our website

5. BTEG is supported by Trust for London, City Bridge Trust, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Ministry of Justice, The Monument Trust and Big Lottery.

6. BTEG address: 200a Pentonville Road, London N1 9JP. Registered charity No: 1056043

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BTEG Criminal Justice Network News

Transforming rehabilitation - BTEG submission

As you will know the Government is proposing a far reaching reorganisation of the Probation Service which will see the majority of its services delivered by private and voluntary sector agencies and a greater emphasis on supporting offenders on short sentences.

BTEG submitted its response to the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation consultation in February. The concerns of our submission focus on the likelihood of these reforms delivering improved outcomes for BAME offenders and their families. We make a modest set of proposals that, if taken on board, can help at least to ensure there is a realistic chance of Transforming Rehabilitation delivering better outcomes for BAME offenders, their families and communities.

We will keep pressing the Government on this because, as the evidence clearly highlights, the experience of BAME offenders is that they tend to achieve poorer outcomes and have a more negative experience of the justice system. If Transforming Rehabilitation is to buck this trend we need to see NOMS and the other agencies involved giving a greater focus to race equality and improving outcomes for BAME offenders. A link to our submission is below.

Race Equality & Criminal Justice Consultation for Derbyshire Tuesday 26th March 2013

Derby and Derbyshire Race and Equality Commission and BTEG held a consultation event on crime and community safety for BME voluntary groups on 26 March.

The conference was attended by Hardyal Dhindsa, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire. The event was well supported with representatives from more than 20 organisations in attendance. The two substantive issues for further action were in the areas of consultation with BME young people and a strategy for the county around race hate crime.

Hardyal Dhindsa also announced that a £250,000 crime prevention grant scheme would be launched by the PCC and further details would follow. Derby and Derbyshire Race and Equality Commission will be following up on all of the actions from the event and a conference report will be available soon.

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Policy and Research

Loughborough Estate signUnderstanding the Impact of the economic down turn on BME communities: a case study of the Loughborough estate in the London Borough of Lambeth

This report is the second of the two estate-based focused work undertaken by BTEG. We were particularly interested in the Lambeth Council’s Economic Development Strategy (EDS) and the role of stake-holders within the Loughborough Junction area. In particular, the role of the Loughborough Estate Management Board (LEMB) in developing the Loughborough Centre as a prime asset within the regeneration strategy of the Loughborough estate as well as other statutory and non-statutory providers of support to the unemployed.

We explored the concerns through structured interviews and survey questionnaires. Overall a total of 34 unemployed respondents participated. Two key areas of enquiries were explored:

  1. To what extent were BME groups on the estate being supported to develop and/or secure employment or employment skills?

  1. To what extent were policies and strategies making a difference?

As a result of the short study we found that:

  1. More needs to be done to ensure the presence of the ‘employment hub’ in the area;

  2. Based on locally provided data, the Green Man Centre supported is not attracting sufficient numbers of unemployed who are from the immediate area given the level of unemployment in the area/ward.

  3. There is a need develop informal and non-formal approaches to supporting jobseekers.

The full report can be downloaded here

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News From Around the Sector

locality logoBig Lottery fund survey about peering learning

How do you share learning with other organisations? What has worked well, what difference has this made and how creative have you been?

Locality is asking smaller voluntary and community sector organisations (turnover £50k-£200k) to complete a short online survey which will inform future support from the BIG Lottery fund.

Complete the survey


RJC logoNew Restorative Service Standards and Restorative Service Quality Mark – Consultation launched

The Ministry of Justice Restorative Justice Action Plan, published in November 2012, tasked the Restorative Justice Council with development of new national standards and a national accreditation framework.

The Restorative Justice Council has now published a consultation draft Restorative Service Standards and the framework for a Restorative Service Quality Mark (RSQM) for agencies who show that they meet the standards. The RSQM will ensure participant safety and provide the public and commissioners with confidence in the restorative service being provided.

Find out more


HLF logoHeritage Lottery Fund Trustee vacancies

Heritage Lottery Fund has some very exciting trustee opportunities. Applications are welcome from a wide range of individuals who have a broad appreciation of heritage and a commitment to promoting public understanding and enjoyment of it to the widest possible audience, together with strong skills in leadership, strategic and analytical thinking, influencing and communication.

The vacancies are now live and the closing date is midday, 22 April

For more information visit Trustee vacancies


2013 Call Launched for Youth in Action Programme (EU)

Youth in Action banner

Youth in Action encourages young people to travel around the EU and beyond, explore new cultures and get involved in non-formal learning projects.

The 2013 Call for Proposals for the Youth in Action Programme was launched on 22 December 2012.

Non-profit or non-governmental organisations are eligible to apply, as well as, local or regional public bodies, informal groups of young people, organisations active at the European level in the field of youth, international non-profit organisations and profit-making organisations organising an event in the area of youth, sport or culture.

Applicants must be legally established in one of the programme countries or in a neighbouring partner country.

For more information go to


BBC CiN logoBBC Children in Need Revised Grant Programme 2013 Now Open

Children in Need’s new grant programmes are now open for applications.

The application form and guidance have been revised, so please make sure you read the guidance before you apply (available here:

Small Grants (£10,000 and under). The next small grant deadline is 1st April, with decisions made by the beginning of June. You can find out more about the small grant programme here

Main Grants (over £10,000). The main grants programme is also open and the next deadline is 15th May for applicants to submit an initial application. You can find out more about the main grant programme here


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