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Employment gap between London’s young black and white men narrows

Recent reports from the Moving on Up project indicate the historically disproportionate employment gap between young black men and white men has narrowed in London. Data collected in 2018 shows that 86% of the young black men in London available for work were in employment; the employment rate for young white men in the same period was 89%.

Moving on Up (MoU) is an employment initiative helping young black men to find jobs and careers in London’s competitive labour market. The project now in phase II is working with leading employers in the Construction, Finance and Digital tech sectors, to measure their hiring practices and inclusion policies. In addition to employers, MoU is collectively working with local councils in London Borough of Brent and Newham to demonstrate the difference targeted support can have on young black men’s progression. MoU is providing funding to support present and new provisions to facilitate the development of young black men. 

The MoU ambition mirrors the Government’s national target to get 20% more ethnic minority people into employment by 2020. The target aims to end the much higher unemployment rates experienced by some ethnic minority groups, including young black men.

January to December 2017

  • The economic activity rate for young black men in London was 37%; the economic activity rate for young white men was 64%.
  • The unemployment rate for young black men in London was 14%; the unemployment rate for young white men was 11%.
  • Under-employment rates are twice as likely to be higher for black employees as for white employees, including for graduates.


Moving on Up is a joint £1m initiative from the Trust for London, City Bridge Trust and the Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG), to increase employment opportunities for young black men in London. BTEG’s mission is to end racial inequality by championing fairness, challenging discrimination and pioneering innovative solutions to empower BAME communities through education, employment and enterprise.

Bola Abisogun for Moving On Up

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Led by BTEG