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One year after BLM, ethnic minority young people are still worried about how racism will affect their life chances, new survey finds

Although all young people are worried about the impact of Covid-19 on their health and future employment opportunities, a new survey conducted by the Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG) found that Black, Asian and Mixed ethnicity young people aged 16-24 also rate racial discrimination and poverty as their biggest concerns.

This contrasts with a wider survey of young people conducted by Hope not Hate that put the economy and unemployment in second and third place on the list of their  concerns.

The BTEG 2021 Young People Survey provides a snapshot of the experiences and ambitions of Black, Asian and Mixed ethnicity young people across the UK regarding jobs, apprenticeships and careers. 

Mental health is particularly concerning for young people from Asian and Mixed ethnic groups, while racial discrimination is of most concern for young Black people.

In response to the survey question about the impact of BLM on employment opportunities, one mixed ethnicity female respondent commented: 

‘I hope it will have a positive effect - I think it probably has had at least a short-term effect at big, visible companies who are on a big diversity push. Whether that will last I don’t know. I don’t know if it will affect job chances for someone like me though – I think small/medium businesses aren’t that bothered. The last company I worked at had around 400 staff, only 5 were BAME and one was Black (me)’ 

Almost 250 young people responded, and the survey shows a troubling picture for ethnic minority young people.

  • 69% said that the pandemic will have a negative effect on their future career opportunities
  • 75% of our survey respondents agree that an apprenticeship would be a good route to the careers they want. However, less than half (40%) knew where to find information about apprenticeships 
  • Almost one third would definitely NOT use Jobcentre Plus. 

In the report BTEG calls on Government, employers, educational bodies and youth organisations to consider its three recommendations to ensure the life chances of all young people are maximised.

The recommendations are: 

  1. All national youth surveys should include questions specifically about racial discrimination to better understand it extent as a priority issue facing young people. 
  2. The Department for Education should review the effectiveness of using mainstream media platforms for disseminating information to Black, Asian and Mixed ethnicity young people. 
  3. A national review of the take-up of Jobcentre Plus services by ethnic minority young people is urgently needed, with action to address the barriers deterring some communities from accessing employment support and opportunities only available through Jobcentre Plus. 

Jeremy Crook OBE, Chief Executive, BTEG says: 

‘All young people in the UK have had their lives, education and opportunities disrupted. They have shown tremendous resilience, but many are struggling with their mental health. Our survey cannot be considered representative of all ethnic minority young people, but it clearly provides powerful insights which must be factored into the Government’s Levelling Up agenda which places no emphasis on tackling racial discrimination.’ 

You can read/download the report here

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