All the BTEG - Black Training and Enterprise Group - Issue 40
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In this issue:

Issue 40

Jeremy Crook OBE, Chief Executive  writes:

Jeremy Crook

I was delighted to chair the Department for Education’s first meeting of the Apprenticeships Equality and Diversity Advisory Group. The Group is comprised of external businesses, apprenticeship providers, HR experts and charities. Members are committed to supporting the DfE to make sure apprenticeships reflect the diversity of the working age population.

Increasing the participation rates of BME individuals and those with learning difficulties and disabilities (LDD) are key priorities for the Department. Only 10.6% of apprentices are BME and 8% have LDD. In fact, this drops to 5.8% for BME people with LDD. So the government, employers and apprenticeship providers have a great deal to do to increase these stagnant figures.

We’ve had a busy summer hosting workshops connected to two initiatives where we serve as a partner: the Joseph Rowntree Foundation poverty and ethnicity demonstration projects and the Moving on Up programme, funded by Trust for London and City Bridge Trust. The three funders and BTEG are trying to find out what works best to move ethnic minorities out of poverty and get more young black men into work and then share this learning with policy makers. To this end we brought the ten delivery providers involved in both programmes together with policy makers from two departments to share learning.

One workshop took place at Keighley College in Bradford with a group of local manufacturers who are keen to increase diversity in their workforces, especially from the local Asian community. It was really useful to hear directly from employers what they feel are the barriers that need to be overcome.

Our recent briefing on young black men and employment in the capital shows that black male graduate unemployment (28%) is higher than the unemployment for non-graduates (26%). Both of these statistics are far higher than the unemployment rates for young white males, 8% and 13% respectively.

In the last newsletter we highlighted our qualitative evidence that describes how black boys are treated less favourably by teachers in some London schools. A study in the USA (Guardian, 4 Oct 16) has revealed the subconscious bias of teachers, who directed attention more closely to black boys when ‘challenging behaviour’. BTEG sees similarities in the way black boys are perceived, often through unconscious bias, by teachers in the school system here and the USA.

We need to debate these issues in schools, families and Government.



BTEG’s 25th Anniversary Inspire & Challenge Lecture

This year BTEG will be celebrating twenty five years of working across the public, private and voluntary sectors to champion national and local action to reduce racial inequalities.

To mark this important milestone BTEG is organising three Inspire and Challenge lectures where speakers will deliver new and future facing perspectives on criminal justice, education and business.

The first of these lectures is:

Young ethnic minorities are over represented in youth and adult criminal justice system. How do we breakdown the racial bias within the criminal justice system?

Time and date: 2.30-5:00pm, 11 November 2016

Location: Bristol

The event is being organised in association with Black Southwest Network.

For information about booking for this event contact:

BTEG logo



Welsh Harp Summer Festival, London Borough of Brent

With Brent Council Ward Working funds, BTEG led on a local social action project with young people in the Welsh Harp ward. This resulted in the Welsh Harp Summer Festival on the 27th August 2016.

On stage at the festival

During the event the Mayor of Brent played ‘tug-of-war’, Dawn Butler MP was the ‘cake off’ judge and BEAT London hosted music, Zumba and an open-mic.

Enjoying the festival

The event was an enormous success - not only because of the great turn out but also because it was an initiative developed by local young people. It demonstrated their amazingly creative input and dedication and was a learning process gave them access to key life/work skills.

The event also raised just over £400 for 1 Voice community, a local charity for parents and carers of children with learning disabilities.



WorkPlacements 4 ME

WP4ME logo

  • Aged between 18-30 and Living in London?
  • Need practical experience to enhance your skills and enhance your CV?
  • Don't know where to start to get a relevant placement in line with your personal goals, interests and aspirations?

Getting experience within a real working environment is a vital component towards securing interviews and jobs in line with career aspirations. But getting a placement and moreover an appropriate placement is not always that easy.

  • This project from BTEG will give support through:
  • Securing a placement in line with your career aspirations

A series of workshops aimed to complement the practical experience from your placement.

Workshop topics will include assertiveness and speaking with confidence, filling in application forms, understanding an office environment and office systems and basic project management

So if you are young, talented, ambitious, creative and energetic but need support to get on your chosen career path, enrol on the Work Placements 4 ME programme with BTEG to get the support you need.

For more information or to discuss the programme contact Tebussum Rashid or call her on 0207 832 5839 follow us on Twitter @BTEGPlacements



BTEG Criminal Justice Network News

The Young Review Independent Advisory Group

The Independent Advisory Group has met twice since members were appointed on initial three year terms in February 2016.

Details of the group members can be found here.

The Advisory Group has established two task and finish groups. The first is working on a proposal for a Data Analysis Group, a collaborative structure with NOMS/ MOJ and external partners from civil society, faith groups, academia and user groups to work   together on improving the quality and use of data across the offender management system to improve outcomes for black and Muslim young offenders and to reduce ethnic disproportionality. The second is developing a charter on race equality for Probation service providers.



Working with the Lammy Review

David Lammy
Photo credit: Policy Exchange via VisualHunt / CC BY

David Lammy MP is leading an independent government sponsored review of the treatment of, and outcomes for, black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in the Criminal Justice System. It aims to establish the facts and make recommendations to ensure everyone in contact with the CJS is treated equally, whatever their race or ethnicity.

The Young Review welcomes the Lammy Review and hopes it can accelerate the delivery of actions that initiate sustained reductions in the numbers and proportion of people from BAME communities within the CJS. As part of the process, the Young Review has made a written submission to the Lammy Review.

From its inception the Young Review has worked closely and collaboratively with David Lammy MP and his team.

Baroness Young has had positive meetings with David Lammy MP and he spoke with the Young Review IAG shortly after the February announcement of the review by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron.

We support the Lammy Review in two areas:

Firstly, in its efforts in getting a more detailed understanding of the drivers behind the increase in the numbers of Muslim prisoners. We will be organising focus groups with the review later in the year.

Secondly, we held a roundtable with David Lammy and some former offenders who discussed how they managed to turn their lives around, the barriers they faced and how the system should change if it is to support BAME prisoners more effectively. He is keen to meet this group again and we hope this will happen in December.

More details on the Lammy Review

Read: Mark Blake’s blog about the Lammy Review.



Youth Justice

The issue of the disproportionate numbers of BAME young people held in custody has been a focus of the work Young Review IAG as custody figures in the youth estate highlight a long term trend of a growing proportion of young people coming from BAME communities. The figures are currently 43%.



In June, Baroness Young and members of the Independent Advisory Group met Charlie Taylor who has been leading a review into the Youth Justice System. The review was instigated by the former Justice Secretary, Michael Gove MP. We await the launch of the report and the new Secretary of State Liz Truss’ response to its proposals. 



Government and prison reform

Liz Truss
Photo credit: Policy Exchange via Visualhunt / CC BY

The new Secretary of State for Justice, Liz Truss, confirmed her commitment to the prison reform process but has put a stop on further developments to enable time to assess and take stock of the process. Both she and the Prime Minister have publicly stated their commitment to addressing ethnic disproportionality. The Justice Select Committee has undertaken an inquiry into the prison reform process.

There is still a lack of clarity if the prison reform process will prioritise improving outcomes for black and/or Muslim young offenders and reducing ethnic disproportionality in its strategies and operational plans.

BTEG will have meetings with relevant officials is this area over the coming months and we will be responding to the Inquiry’s call for written evidence.



JRF Funded Poverty and Ethnicity Programme

BTEG’s work as strategic partner on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Poverty and Ethnicity Programme continues with demonstration projects having now delivered their initiatives for six months.

Four projects are testing out ideas around tackling poverty within particular minority ethnic groups including Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Somali and Polish.  The organisations involved are Women Like Us, Crisis Brent, Mayor’s Fund for London and Bradford Council.

Project meeting

We recently held our third workshop, themed around Employer Engagement, particularly being able to engage employers in conversations around increasing the ethnic diversity of their workforce. 

Bradford Council together with Keighley College encouraged a group of local manufacturers and a retail recruitment organisation to take part in the half day workshop, showing a willingness to engage and work with agencies to tackle challenges they face around getting more people interested in their sector.

As the local population changes; Keighley is seeing an increase in Asians of working age whilst the numbers of those from white British backgrounds are decreasing, employers recognise that they need to tackle issues of ethnic workforce diversity to fill their vacancies.

The morning kicked off with short presentations from three different perspectives around increasing workforce diversity. Presenters discussed the need for ethnic diversity but also the challenges faced by both employers and prospective employees to do this.

Presentations were followed by group discussions around the subject of increasing the ethnic diversity of their workforce and challenges they face.  There were lots of discussions particularly around why (whether actual or perceived) some ethnic groups may not want to work in the Manufacturing sector including:

  • history of their ancestors working in low paid low skilled jobs with no prospects
  • aspirations to professional careers like medicine and law
  • parents not allowing girls to work in manufacturing
  • perceptions that Manufacturing is a ‘white’ sector and therefore not worth applying to as won’t get a job there anyway

And also the challenges employers felt they were facing:

  • a local Asian population who are not interested in the Manufacturing sector, though there are Asian manufacturers in the area who employ Asian workers
  • the perception that Manufacturing and engineering are dark and dingy places to work when in fact technological advances mean that factories are some of the brightest, cleanest places to work
  • Advertising vacancies through many varied channels which reach the local Asian population but feeling frustration when this group still don’t apply for jobs
  • Knowing they need to overcome barriers that parents may have but not knowing the best way to address this

For more information on the JRF funded Poverty and Ethnicity programme, please contact Indra Pooran at 



Ready 4 Work

Ready 4 Work logo

A free five-day programme to give young people the attitude and mindset to achieve positive job, career or training goals.

Do you want to be part of the programme? Are you…

  • 18-30?
  • Living in Islington?
  • Actively looking for work?
  • Keen to succeed?
  • With an entrepreneurial spirit?
  • Open to trying new ways of doing things?
  • Have an appetite for change?

What the programme covers:

  • How to sell “YOU”
  • A fully composed and critiqued CV
  • Personalised answers to interview questions
  • Practical challenges to develop decision making, negotiation and teamwork skills

Ready 4 Work will leave you with increased confidence, an entrepreneurial “can do” attitude and the ability to compete effectively for employment.

For a place on the programme, or for more information, contact Indra Pooran at:  Tel: 079 6111 8970



Would you like to inspire young people to achieve their aspirations?

If this sounds like you then BTEG are recruiting a volunteer for our Routes2Success Ethnic Minority Role Model Programme.

We are looking for someone to volunteer with us one or two days a week and are particularly keen to recruit someone who can offer at least three months of their time with us.

The Volunteer would support our interim Programme Director in areas such as administration, marketing (particularly social media) and other general duties. You would have an opportunity to help plan events and be a part of our role model recruitment process.

This volunteering opportunity will give you the chance to develop core skills in these areas and also in team working, communication and ICT – which can enhance your CV or LinkedIn profile.

As this is an unpaid opportunity, BTEG are happy to reimburse travel costs.

We would like to have our Volunteer up and running by end of October or sooner so if you are interested in finding out more then contact Indra Pooran. or on 07961 118970



News From Around the Sector


Launch of WEgate

BTEG’s Tebussum Rashid was invited to speak at the launch of WEgate, an online portal and platform that describes itself as “The European Gateway for Women’s Entrepreneurship”’.

WEgate, launched in Brussels, is a one-stop shop for women across Europe with a business idea or who want to grow an existing venture. It provides information and connections on:

  • how to start and grow your business
  • how to access finance and new markets
  • training and peer-learning opportunities
  • mentoring, good practice, success stories
  • news and events

It’s an excellent tool for women entrepreneurs. BTEG wants to see WEgate develop a community of women that appeals to women from diverse backgrounds, abilities and circumstances. We also want see more practical resources that makes use of templates, core questions and good examples. The process can be daunting and having supportive tools can reduce the barriers especially for start-ups.

Become a member and help make the platform more ethnically diverse.­­



JAC Selection Exercise Panel Member

The Judicial Appointments Commission is recruiting up to 20 new members to sit on its judicial selection panels.

Panels are responsible for assessing all the evidence of a candidate’s merits against a competency framework for the post, either by reviewing their applications and references, or in face-to-face interviews.

Though the appointment to these key positons is based on merit, they would particularly welcome applications from a diverse field as possible.

To find out more about the panels and how to apply click here



Education for All – Looking Beyond the Classroom

10 November 2016

School girl

With widely differing life chances amongst young people and growing pressure to tackle the social mobility crises across major parts of the country, the role of education and skills has never been more critical. But educational outcomes remain stubbornly unequal. Understanding Society will be hosting a topical debate which discusses the latest issues facing education and skills.

To find out more about this event and to book click here



Prisoners Education Trust board member vacancy

PET is looking to recruit a new member of its board of trustees. PET is specifically looking for someone who has personal experience of education in prison, who can use their skills and knowledge to guide the charity through an exciting time of growth and change. Find out more



Black people's involvement in the First World War: public workshop

Saturday 15 October, 2pm – 5:30pm

Troops of the West Indies Regiment 1916

More than one million black people from Africa, the Americas, and Europe were actively involved in the First World War. They fought and laboured in most of the major campaigns but particularly in Europe, Africa, and western Asia. This workshop, by IWM and The Centre for Hidden Histories, will look at how their experiences can be followed through official and private records and how their contributions are remembered in Britain today.

The event will feature talks from historians of Black Britain, Stephen Bourne, Dr Caroline Bressey, John Siblon, and Anna Maguire, and social commentator and political activist Patrick Vernon.

There will also be the opportunity to find out more about conducting research in this area, learn about IWM’s collections and enjoy free refreshments.

Tickets are free but registration is advised: BlackpeopleinWW1



UK Charity Week

Charity Today News has launched the national charity awareness week ‘#UKCharityWeek’. It is a week that gives the people of the United Kingdom an opportunity to place charities and fundraising high on the national agenda at a time of the year when people are statistically at their most giving. Find out more here

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