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Moving On Up

Improving employment rates for young black men in London
Moving on Up is a collaborative initiative between The Trust for London, the City of London Corporation’s charity, City Bridge Trust, and the Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG).  This Initiative aims to increase the employment rates of young black men in London over the next two years (2015-17) by funding work that will improve the support offered to them and to  increase their pathways into employment, and to undertake policy influencing work to promote greater action to address the issue.     
The target group is young people aged 16-24 who are from black British, black African, black Caribbean and mixed black ethnic groups who are actively seeking work.
Why young black men?
Research undertaken by BTEG, funded by the Trust for London, examined why young black men were faring less well in the labour market than other groups.  The research found that:
  • The unemployment rate for young black men in the UK is more than double the rate for young white men.

  • At the time of the 2011 Census, 87,011 black men aged between 16 and 24 lived in London. That is around half of all the young black men in England and Wales.

  • Young black men have a higher unemployment rate than young men and young women in all other ethnic groups.

  • The unemployment rate for young black men has remained persistently high despite improvements in their educational attainment.

  • Young black men have higher rates of post-16 education than white young men. However, spending longer in education is not leading to any reductions in the higher unemployment rates experienced by young black men.

  • The unemployment rate for black graduates is more than double the unemployment rate for white graduates.

BTEG’s research concluded with an Action Plan to Increase the Employment Rates of Young Black Men in London, which can be downloaded here 
To date, six organisations/partnerships have been funded over two years:
Action West London - To establish the Roots Recruitment Agency, which will pilot innovative employment services for ‘job ready’ young black men, to tackle the barriers to employment. The project will provide personalised, professional job search support in conjunction with active engagement with employers to source job opportunities. Target boroughs - Brent/Ealing. 
Elevations Network - For the Lambeth 360* project, an employability programme for young black men aged 16-24 who are actively seeking work. 360* will comprise of a ‘job-readiness’ training course and a mentoring circle made up of a senior leader and employee from a leading recruiter. The courses will run in partnership with Business in the Community’s Race for Opportunity and JobCentre Plus across the borough of Lambeth. Target boroughs – Lambeth and Southwark.
Hackney Council for Voluntary Service - To support a local Partnership that will provide an innovative approach to getting young black men closest to the labour market into employment through provision of: youth-led motivational workshops; community-based employment support aimed at building confidence and employability skills and; linkage to local black-led business networks and mentoring opportunities. Target borough – Hackney.
Making the Leap - Towards working with 100 young Black men who have achieved some level of academic attainment, to put them through a Future-skills programme. This will provide individual career coaching and assistance to pass psychometrics tests to enable at least 50 of them to progress into a life-changing career.  Target boroughs – Brent/London-wide.
Step Ahead - To engage with 150 young black men on a focused support programme delivered by the partnership, including work with employers,  resulting in 75 into paid jobs of which 60 are sustained (6 months plus) by tackling negative perceptions surrounding this cohort.  Target boroughs – Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham and Newham.  
Other activities will include regular policy briefings and media work, led by BTEG; and evaluation support which will be provided by The Social Innovation Partnership/Project Oracle.
For further information about the Initiative contact:
Sioned Churchill, Trust for London – 020 7606 6145 or
Jeremy Crook, BTEG – 020  7832 5800 email:

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Led by BTEG