All the BTEG - Black Training and Enterprise Group - news for January 2014

In this issue:

Issue 26 - January 2014

Jeremy Crook OBE writes:

Jeremy CrookBest wishes for 2014!

This year will be another challenging year for BTEG and many other small organisations in the voluntary and community sector as further cuts impact on the public services and spending but we have to continue to focus on our strengths and invest as much as we can in our human resources, especially volunteers who remain the backbone of the sector.

There are opportunities for the small organisations however, we have to make sure that our service offer is robust and we know exactly what we can deliver and how much it costs, a strong focus on  user involvement is vital, plus good communication to users and funders and where possible joint working opportunities are developed.

I very much hope this year that as the economy grows we can see a drastic reduction in the level of black male youth unemployment towards the national average for 18-24 year olds. BTEG has had a tremendous response to our on-line survey of young black men in London and we have extended the deadline for more young black men to respond. I also hope that we can start reverse the increase in young Muslim men and black men in the criminal justice system. Baroness Young’s review which is looking at how best to improve outcomes for African, Caribbean, mixed origin and Muslim men in the CJS will publish a report later this year and we expect this have some influence on MOJ policy and commissioning.

BTEG will not lose sight of the fact that some BAME women also have very low employment rates, and BTEG will do everything possible to encourage more targeted action at the local level to improve pathways to work for BAME women. 

I’d like to thank our Routes2Sucess role model volunteers for their tremendous contribution to supporting young black males 11-25 years last year. I visited three prisons towards the end of the year and was impressed with the positive response they received from young offenders.  They are also making an impact in schools.

News and Updates

BTEG on-line survey for black young men

Please can you help us to find young black men in London who will take a quick on-line survey to tell us about their experiences of employment, unemployment and job searching?

We are trying to reach as many people as possible who are:

  • Young  -  aged 16 to 24
  • Black  -  of African, Caribbean or Mixed heritage
  • Male
  • Living in London  

The unemployment rate for young black men in England is currently 50% (compared with 22% for young white men). The findings from this survey will help inform a new multi-agency action plan to tackle this crisis facing our young men.  The survey only takes about 5 minutes to complete and we are offering a prize of £100 to every 100th young black man who fills it in before 31st January 2013.

Please ask all the young black men you work with (whether they are employed, unemployed or in education or training) to take the survey. The survey can be reached by clicking on this link:



Routes2Success Role Models have been inspiring young black males to succeed in education, employment and entrepreneurship

The Black Training and Enterprise Group’s (BTEG) Routes2Success Programme has reached the end of its first year and what an exciting year we have had!

On Friday 29th November, we had our first school event at Tidemill Academy in the borough of Lewisham, where 3 of our R2S role models hosted a half day inspirational workshop for a group of 10 students. The event was filled with ‘big thinking’ activities and getting the Year 6 students to start planning their futures. Many of the students described their day as ‘Epic’ and Enrichment Leader Carl Reid said ““Thank you so much, it went very well and I was extremely happy with the delivery and content”. We hope to be doing some more work with the Year 6 students at Tidemill in the New Year. Our next school event is in Heartlands High School on Friday 13th December.    

So as the first year comes to an end and I look back and reflect upon the work the R2S team have done, I feel a sense of pride and achievement and know that the journey has only just begun! I am very much looking forward to what 2014 holds for the project as we already have some events lined up for January and February.

In particular we would like to focus on supporting a group of young black men start their own local project; this should be their own idea and hopefully a new innovative and creative one. If you know of any young men aged between 11-25 that are interested in starting a local project but simply need the help and support to get started please tell them to get in touch with the R2S team / 020 7832 5832.

BTEG Criminal Justice Network News

BTEG CJS Network now on Twitter

You can now follow developments, comments and ideas from the BTEG CJS Network on Twitter

Follow @MarkCJSNetwork


Improving outcomes for offenders from the Gypsy and Traveller communities

Friends, Families and Travellers and BTEG are hosting a conference on 21 January 2014 focused on how we can improve outcomes for offenders from the Traveller communities. Travellers make up around 0.5% of the population of the UK but around 5% of the male prison population.

These figures maybe an underrepresentation as there is still a big problem in Travellers identifying themselves. With the huge changes underway across the offender management system with the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms of the Probation Service there is a risk that the needs of this group may not be met.

The aim of this conference is to look at the needs of traveller offenders and how we can improve outcomes for this group under the new arrangements.

This will be of interest to commissioners, providers and equalities officers. We are keen to see prime providers, voluntary organisations and community groups from the traveller communities.

A report from the event will be produced and sent to the MOJ.

Please contact Sarah at Friend families and Travellers to book your place


Children’s Commission Report into young people and sexual violence

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England and Wales, has released the final report of their inquiry into child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups.

The report was also the focus of a piece on the BBC’s Newsnight which featured Foundation 4 Life, one of our CJS Network members.


Statistics on race and the Criminal Justice System

The MOJ has released its bi-annual statistical report on race.

The report also featured in a number of newspaper articles around the figures which highlighted harsher sentencing outcomes for black and Asian offenders for the same offences compared with white offenders. The report from the Daily Mail is here


BTEG colleague Trevor Hercules featured in the Guardian

On 4 December 2013 the Guardian had a feature article about Trevor Hercules, whose Hercules Project was developed in conjunction with BTEG’s CJS project.

The article – which can be read here – details Trevor’s journey from a criminal past to now trying to divert young people from crime by challenging their “social deprivation mindset”.


Opening Doors Network: the Enterprise Programme

Create and launch your winning idea!

BTEG’s Opening Doors Network: The Enterprise Programme is open for business. Opening Doors is an exciting new type of enterprise programme for London to create the next entrepreneurial generation. It will inspire you, build your entrepreneurial know-how and get your passion, skill, technological knowledge or hobby transformed into a business. Above all it will connect you to like-minded people and open up the dynamic world of enterprise and self-employment.

Aimed at young adults - irrespective of the chances they have had in life – Opening Doors will help you to develop your ideas, think differently and guide you through the business start-up maze. It is different from other start-up training because it is designed as an incubator and connection-hub. It is intensive, with hands-on learning. In addition, it will engage entrepreneurs and companies to give you the real insights you need.

It offers seven powerful experiential learning zones, including one to one expert advice and access to funding - all rolled into a highly flexible programme with friendly support over a full period of six months.

Booking for the programme is now open. You have a choice of locations at local centres in the London Boroughs of Haringey, Croydon and Brent. There is also a choice of four starting dates: (late) January 2014, April 2014, November 2014 and February 2015.

Email Philip Flynn to register your interest. And if this is not for you but you know someone who might be interested please alert them to the opportunity! Opening Doors is being run in partnership with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, ABi Associates and PJ’s Community Services.


Equality, racism and BME Sector Leadership: Crises or opportunity for revitalisation?

BTEG’s newest staff member, Raj Patel, has written an article which asks why, even though race and immigration are the second highest issue of public concern, the Black voluntary sector is facing big challenges. He asks: does the BAME sector have anything distinctive to offer in the 21st century? The full article can be read here

News From Around the Sector


Connecting money to social value

Investing for Good is working with members of the Arts Ventures Fund Group to launch the first co-mingled social investment fund for the arts sector.

This £10m fund will open in 2014 and deploy new social investment money into organisations that deliver an artistic and social benefit to their communities. It has the potential to enable many small and medium sized arts and cultural organisations to develop greater sustainability and financial resilience.

For more information on the Arts Ventures Fund, please contact Geoff Burnand at .


The Big Venture Challenge - Investment for Social Entrepreneurs

The Big Venture Challenge is an intensive 12 month programme that is designed to help ambitious social entrepreneurs raise external investment (debt or equity) of between £50,000 to £250,000. This means working with them to build a compelling growth story, finding investors, making strategic connections and supporting them as an entrepreneur during the journey.

The Big Venture Challenge will run themed and regional cohorts every year in order to build deeper, more relevant strategic support networks around each cohort.

In 2014 their region is the Midlands and the theme is Education and Youth. So this year, 10 of the final 30 ventures on the Challenge will be based in the East or West Midlands, 10 will work in the Education and Youth sectors, and 10 can be based in any English region, working in any sector.

Find out more here



Tebussum Rashid’s 10th anniversary at BTEG

Our colleague, Tebussum, recently celebrated her 10th year of being a loyal and dedicated member of the BTEG team. 

Jeremy Crook OBE, Director of BTEG, says that he, along with colleagues and users “Value Teb’s positive attitude, knowledge, bubbly personality and ability to work as an individual and team player.”

Anthony Durrant MBE, chair of BTEG, presented Tebs with a gift to acknowledge the Board's appreciation for her loyal and dedicated attention to the needs and aims of BTEG.

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