BTEG welcomes the Public Accounts Committee report and agrees with the Chair of the Committee that job losses among young Black people needs ‘serious attention now’.
However, we do not believe the Committee’s recommendations go far enough. DWP and the Department for Education need to get on top of this long-standing racial disparity and implement BTEG’s recent recommendations. These are:
1.The government should lead action with employers to tackle the continued under-representation of ethnic minority young people on apprenticeships in higher value sectors such as construction and engineering
2. A renewed drive is needed to create more apprenticeships in higher value sectors in London, along with pilot initiatives to test ways of supporting young Londoners to take up apprenticeship opportunities in high value sectors in other regions.
3. In order that disparities in apprenticeship application success rates can be tracked, the government should require all employers with 50+ employees to monitor and publish information about apprenticeship applications and appointments by age, gender and ethnicity.
4. A national review of take up of Jobcentre Plus services by ethnic minority young people is urgently needed, with action to address barriers deterring some communities from accessing employment support and opportunities only available through JCP.
5. The government should publish data on degree-level apprenticeships, with breakdowns in application, start and completion rates by gender, age and ethnicity.
The DWP and DfE ministers should work together re-establish a high-level national task force with employers, public and voluntary organisations, and young Black people to drive progress. The Government and employers can learn from the Moving on Up initiative in London and the Mayor of London’s Workforce integration Network programme.