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

In this issue:

Issue 27 - February 2014

Jeremy Crook OBE writes:

Jeremy Crook

BTEG gains a lot of satisfaction from meeting black boys and young black men through our Routes2Success (R2S) project which connects young black males with successful black men to discuss their career aspirations, employment and enterprise.

It is important that we create this space for young people and especially those young people that statistically face the greatest challenges securing good employment. Our recent press release highlights recent statistics which show 1 in 10 young black people dropout of University. We also know that young BAME people are under-represented in apprenticeships. So it’s clear to us that there needs to be a far greater focus on supporting young people to make careers choices in their best interests.  We need to know why so many young people are dropping out of higher education and why relatively few secure apprenticeships.


I was concerned to see my good colleague Dr Rob Berkeley suddenly depart from the Runnymede Trust after several years of being at the helm of the organisation. 

Naturally we wish Rob (and the Trust) all the best for the future. Rob is a talented individual and l certainly valued his ability to think differently about long standing problems. I know that Rob, Simon Woolley (CEO of Operation Black Vote) and I shared a serious concern about the future of national race equality organisations and in particular the fact that hardly any funders provide core funding for national race equality charities. In fact BTEG has only one funder that contributes towards our core resource needs.

If we believe it’s important to have national voices challenging policy makers and tackling racial inequalities in education, health, benefits system, employment, criminal justice and immigration then we need to have some viable charities to do the work and engage with communities, public bodies and the private sector.

For whatever reasons BAME-led national charities do not tick the boxes for Corporate Social Responsibility programmes and a relatively small number of charitable trusts list tackling racial inequalities as a priority.

It seems to me that if central government is no longer prepared to support this work then the only viable alternative is very large funders like the Big Lottery Fund. I think it’s fair to say that many national BAME charities have benefited from lottery funding over the years. This is certainly true for BTEG. But our current lottery funding is for a specific project (i.e.R2S). If the race equality sector is to attract and keep talented individuals we must find a way of releasing the leaders in our organisations to focus on the influencing policy makers and identifying effective solutions rather than burdened our CEOs disproportionally with fundraising and frontline delivery of projects.


Finding the best pathways to employment for ethnic minority jobseekers

Inclusion and BTEG are jointly hosting three one-day partnership events examining how to improve the labour market outcomes of people from ethnic minority backgrounds.  

The three events taking place during 2014 will examine Employment, Entrepreneurship and Apprenticeships

The first of these events will focus on Employment and will take place on Thursday 3 April. Esther McVey MP, Minister for Employment, Department for Work and Pensions will be one of the speakers along with Junior Johnson, Strategy and Policy Account Manager at the Department of Work and Pensions.

The event will focus on practical ways that providers, charities and government can support ethnic minority jobseekers into work. It will discuss the challenges faced by BME jobseekers and address 'ethnic penalties' that BME jobseekers face when trying to enter the job market and progress in employment.

You can find further information about the event here


Find labour market and education statistics for ethnic minority groups

You can use BTEG’s key statistics to find up to date statistics for population, education and labour market for each ethnic minority group. BTEG’s key statistics bring together the most recent statistics for ethnic minority groups to provide a quick and easy reference source for data on ethnic minorities.

Find out more about the key statistics and download the latest update here

News and Updates


Routes2Success Role Models continue to inspire young black males

The Black Training and Enterprise Group’s (BTEG) Routes2Success Programme continues to work with organisations to inspire and motivate young black men. So far this year, we have already hosted two sessions. Both proved to be successful.

On 14th January, we had our first Routes2Success (R2S) session at a Pupil Referral Unit in Southwark.

 Four of our role models hosted a two hour workshop on Education, Careers and Business; twenty-two Year 11 students participated. The event was challenging and rewarding for both the students and role models. It gave them time to think about how much time and effort they were currently putting into their studies, and what they wanted to achieve in the future.

Head teacher, Ena Mc Donald, said the session was good for the students and allowed them to talk through their ambitions, and consider other options, with someone other than the staff. We are looking forward to doing some further work with the students on self-esteem, confidence and overcoming obstacles.

If you know of any Pupil Referral Units in your area that would be interested in having our R2S role models deliver a workshop, please get in touch.

After a successful first session at Heartlands High School in Haringey, we were invited back to deliver a second session on 31st January.

The focus of the session was on Positive Self Image and Goal Setting. The boys, who ranged from 11-15, were very engaged in the session and were keen for the role models to come back and do some more work with them. It was encouraging and inspiring to see so many of the boys attend an after school session where they were required to think, discuss and listen to strategies that would help them feel a sense of positive identity.

I found this session really good. It has made me change my ways and think about what I want to be and how to achieve them” (Darius, aged 15)

I found the session really well presented and I enjoyed myself. I will always be proud of myself” (Jovan, aged 12).

We are very much looking forward to our next session at Heartlands High School and working with the students there.


Enterprise event in Croydon

This month we hosted an enterprise event with The Future of Croydon @The Croydon Conference Centre on Tuesday 18th February from 12pm – 2pm for black males of African, Caribbean and mixed heritage.

Thanks to all who attended a very successful and useful meeting.


Are you positive about your self-image?

Most young people base their perceptions of themselves on what others’ think of them. The thoughts and feelings of others towards young people make them either feel positive or negative about themselves…read more here

BTEG Criminal Justice Network News

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

BTEG’s Mark Blake has written a blog on an event that was held at Pentonville Prison. The event was about Black inmates - social mobility, aspirations and community. Read the blog here


BTEG and Friends & Families of Gypsies & Travellers (FFT) host conference

A one day conference entitled `improving outcomes for offenders from Gypsy and Traveller communities was held jointly by BTEG and FFT on 26 January.

Turnout was good with more than 40 people from community and statutory agencies attending. Two of the speakers were serving prisoners from HMP Ford who shared their experiences.

A conference report of the day will be available in March.


Clinks annual review

Clinks, which supports voluntary organisations that work with offenders and their families, has published its annual review.

A copy can be downloaded here  


Becoming the other: Challenging the race and gang nexus

The Centre for Crime & Justice Studies is hosting this seminar on 3 March.

Criminologist Patrick Williams will outline his idea that the use of the ‘gang’ label wrongly justifies a stark over-policing of Black communities.

More information can be found here


Government announces review of deaths in prison amongst 18-24 year olds

Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling has announced an independent review into deaths in prison amongst 18-24 year olds and has halted the review into custodial arrangements for 18-24 year olds until the report on deaths in custody is completed in spring 2015.

The statement by the Secretary of State can be read here

Shadow Justice Minister addresses youth violence

Shadow Justice Minister Dan Jarvis has written a blog on youth violence. Within the article he floats the idea of extending the youth justice system to the age of 21.

Read the article here

News From Around the Sector


Small Charity Week 2014

Small Charity Week is made up of a series of free activities and initiatives to support and raise awareness of the hundreds and thousands of small charities that, every day, make a huge difference to vulnerable communities right across the country.

This year Small Charity Week 2014 will be taking place on 16th-21st June

More information can be found on the Small Charities Week website


British Schools and the Black Child: New Conversations

London Schools and the Black Child (LSBC) initiative has a conference in Birmingham on 8 March. The conference will provide an opportunity for pupils, teachers, parents, academics and community groups to discuss how to navigate the new educational landscape.

Find out more about the event here


Volunteer Anything

Volunteer Anything is a growing community that started in Waltham Forest and East London in the summer of 2013.

Volunteer Anything is a space for people to post requests and offers directly to other people in their community. Whatever you need, you are free to post a request and hopefully someone local will respond and help you, for free. Likewise, if you have a skill, trade or some time to spare, you can post an offer and see if anyone in your community needs your help, for free.

Find out more about Volunteer Anything here


How small charities can benefit from collaboration and partnership

The low level of cross-sector collaboration in the voluntary sector is a lack of understanding as to what's involved, or a fear of failure. In this Guardian article, Becky Slack explains that the trick is to keep things simple and prepare well.

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