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

In this issue:

Issue 29 - July 2014

Jeremy Crook OBE writes:

Jeremy Crook

BTEG has been conducting race equality action research projects for many years and it’s great when research is followed by positive action. 

BTEG was especially pleased to see a new grant programme created by Trust for London in response to BTEG’s study on young black men and unemployment in London.

A key strand of the research involved workshops with young black men in four local jobcentres in four London boroughs. I was deeply saddened to hear young men identify racism and negative stereotyping as the main reasons for the high unemployment rate among young black people in London.

Do any employers care about the employment opportunities for young black men? BTEG could only find one London employer willing to talk to us about why they think the unemployment rate remains so high for young black men. Let’s hope that the new projects funded by Trust for London have a strong focus on connecting young black men to good employers.  BTEG encourages other funders outside London to consider taking a similar approach. 

This month I had the pleasure of attending two Routes2Success community role model sessions with groups of black boys in secondary schools and it was great to see the young people growing in confidence, developing their communications skills and thinking more about their futures. Our volunteer role models are doing a great job and we appreciate them giving something back to help young people. 

I also had the pleasure of attending an awards event in Ealing organised by Descendants, a black charity, which celebrates the achievements of black students with the support of the local council and schools.  We certainly have some fantastic young people achieving high grades and great to see parents, politicians, teachers and young people celebrating success.

The Opening Doors Network young enterprise programme is demonstrating that some young unemployed people do have ideas and want to success as entrepreneurs. The ODN partners were delighted to host a DCLG ministerial visit to Tottenham.

I would like to encourage readers to contact BTEG staff to find out more about our projects.


Young Black Men and Employment – a new £500k Trust for London Initiative

Action plan

Trust for London is pleased to announce a new special initiative which will aim to increase the employment rate of young black men (YBM) in London. As part of this Initiative, Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG) undertook research which found that young black men have higher unemployment rates than all other groups of young people; they see the problem of high unemployment as largely resulting from factors which are beyond their control; a majority of young black men experience discrimination or negative stereotyping which adversely affects their prospects of employment; and there is little evidence of what works in increasing employment rates for young black men.

The Trust is keen to invest in voluntary and community organisations (VCS) that have experience of working with young black men and are interested in developing new and improved ways of supporting them to find employment. We are also keen to support local partnerships which involve the VCS, Jobcentre Plus, Local Authorities, and Employers.  

We also want to encourage the involvement of young black men directly in the design and delivery of projects. The target group for this initiative will be young people aged 16-24 who are from black British, black African, black Caribbean and mixed black ethnic groups.

If you would like to learn more about this Initiative read this blog post

 If you would like more information about this Initiative, please contact Sioned Churchill –

News and Updates


Schools benefiting from Routes2Success

R2S School event

In the second year of the Black Training and Enterprise Group’s (BTEG’s) Routes2Success (R2S) programme we held six school events in London and Manchester.

These events were inspiring not only for the students but also for the teaching staff at the schools. They have commented on students’ enthusiasm at R2S sessions and the way that they have engaged with the role models; all of which have prompted the schools to have further sessions.

The first school Routes2Success session was at Heartlands High School in January. Our role models held a workshop on positive self-image and raising aspirations. This was a very useful session for the students who were able to express how they felt about themselves and also how others perceived them. There was time do some group work as well as individual reflection which really helped the boys to express themselves. It was a very engaging session where the young people expressed the need for more work on their positive self-esteem and confidence. As a result a further session on the subject took place in May.

“It was very helpful to know that if we do positive things and be positive people, we will have a positive outlook” Calvin aged 13.

We had three further school sessions in Hatch End High School in Pinner, Loreto High School in Manchester and Whitmore High School in Harrow. We worked on self-esteem, positive self-image and career planning with these students.

The R2S role models motivated the boys to aim high and start planning their futures from a young age. The main message being ‘You’re never too young to start planning your future’ and looking at young black successful men such as Lewis Hamilton who started making networks in Formula 1 from the age of eight.

The teaching staff at Whitmore High School was very complimentary of the work that the role models did with the boys and are keen to have further session, while Leon Ettienne, Behaviour Specialist at Hatch End booked two further sessions before the close of school in July.

The session was very popular amongst the boys who felt they really benefited from it. I would like to have you back in early July. The kids seem to have absolutely loved what you did Colin Gall – Head of Year 9 at Whitmore High School).

For more information abour R2S contact: or


R2S Forum

The R2S forum will be up and running from the end of this month, the topic will be ‘Young People and Apprenticeships’ and run by our R2S role model Nathan Pearson-Smith. If you know anyone who is interested in apprenticeships but needs some help or advice please advise them to go to .

If you know of any young men aged 16-25 who would be interested in attending our events, please tell them to get in touch with the R2S team Tel: 020 7832 5832.


Opening Doors Network News

Opening Doors Network helping young unemployed people with their business ideas

Opening Doors Network (ODN) was launched earlier this year, aimed at supporting unemployed young people, aged 18-30 into self-employment

Recently we held two events to promote the programme. The first was held at DCLG’s office, a networking and pitching event, where five participants on the programme were invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of entrepreneurs and start-up loan funders. Prizes were given to the winner and two runners up.

The winner of the top prize of £250 vouchers was Jilly-Ann of Xaymaca with her sorrel based natural health drink.


Jilly-Ann (centre) with the panel members: Robin Landman OBE, Olga Astaniotis, Amie Samba and Analyn Haswell

Our second event saw Minister for Communities Stephen Williams visit the Opening Doors Programme in North London. The visit started with trip to the local Sainsbury’s, where the Minister together with former Spurs skipper Gary Mabbutt met ODN participants’ trialling their products and services.


Minister for Communities Stephen Williams said: “Getting more young people into training and employment is by far the best way of increasing prosperity, tackling poverty and worklessness and creating a fairer society.  The Opening Doors initiative is doing tremendous work towards these goals by encouraging and coaching local young people into being tomorrow’s entrepreneurs”.

For further information about the Opening Doors programme, have a look at our website and follow us at @Openingdoorsnet. 

If you would like to speak with someone about the programme contact Programme Director Indra Pooran at or 020 7832 5839.


BTEG Criminal Justice Network News

National event focuses of Young BAME people and CJS

Young BAME event

On 22 July BTEG held a successful conference at our offices on young BAME people and the criminal justice system. The event was chaired by Angela Sarkis CBE, a Youth Justice Board member, and individuals from the voluntary sector and Youth offending Teams attended. Delegates enjoyed a range of presentations and discussions including:

Baroness Lola Young speaking about the work of the Young Review which will release its final report into improving outcomes for black and Muslim male young offenders in October 2014
Neena Samota from Stopwatch outlining the current position on stop and search
Patrick Williams from Manchester Metropolitan University outlining his doctorate thesis called ending the gang nexus. Patrick’s research shows how the gang policy and process in Manchester is disproportionately targeting young BAME people even through the incidences of gang related violence have dropped substantially.

There were also thoughtful and powerful presentations from Bilal Dunn, DD Armstrong who spoke about their personal journeys and the importance of education in desistance and Annetta Bennett highlighted the need to support vulnerable young BAME women who are risk in terms of safeguarding and being exploited.

A full report of the day will be completed in August and made available on the BTEG website.


Parliamentary committee states risks for charities in delivering probation contracts

The public accounts committee has warned that charities will be taking significant risks if they are delivering contracts on the Transforming Rehabilitation programme.


Barrow Cadbury Trust funding opportunity

Barrow Cadbury are inviting proposals from Birmingham and west Midland based projects working with young people aged 16-24 who are either at risk or have been involved in the justice system. See the link below for more information.


Joseph Rowntree funding opportunity

JRCT have opened their latest grant programme with a focus on tackling racism

News From Around the Sector


Searching for help in your London Borough is a new website from LASA which allows you to search for sources of help in any particular borough, as well as listing details of training, events etc.

It may be of particular use to agencies needing to signpost to a local agency and needing to know what they offer at the moment, and/or to agencies working across boroughs where you don’t necessarily know what exists.


Voluntary Action Islington’s AGM

Voluntary Action Islington’s AGM is on Tuesday November 4th 6pm- 8.30pm at 200a Pentonville Road N1 9JP

Lisa Nandy MP, the Shadow Minister for Civil Society and Dr Justin Davis- Smith CBE, Executive Director of Volunteering and Development at NCVO will be our guest speakers. 

The 2014 Volunteer of the Year Awards will be presented at the AGM.


ESF funded Skills Support

Are you a London based business with less than 250 employees?

If so, your staff and any volunteers that work for your business may be able to take advantage the ESF funded Skills Support for the Workforce initiative to support staff training directly related to your business needs at no cost.

This is an excellent opportunity to enhance the skills of your workforce strengthen your organisations skills set at no cost

Skills Support for the Workforce Team at City and Islington College currently deliver a variety of courses including emergency first aid, equality and diversity, customer service and health and social care and many more.

All training is accredited and certified.

For further information call 0800 980 8434 or email on


Young Black Job Seeker’s Guide Launched

Young Black Job seeker's guide

Communities Inc have been working with young black people to produce a simple job seeker’s guide that covers the key barriers to securing a job. This guide came out of previous work done by Communities Inc through their involvement in the Ready to Work partnership project, where young black people were confused and struggled to make sense of job seeking resources they had access to.

Aimed at the young end of the market this guide is visually appealing and sets out top tips in where to look for a job, how to apply and how to do a good interview. Click Young Black Job Seeker’s Guide for your copy.

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