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New programme will help end unemployment crisis for young black men in London

A new £1 million initiative aimed at ending the unemployment crisis facing young black men in London will be launched at RBS today. Moving on Up is a joint initiative from Trust for London, the City of London’s charity, City Bridge Trust and the Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG), developed to respond to the fact that the unemployment rate for young black men is more than double the rate for young white men.

Young men from black ethnic groups (African, Caribbean and other black) have a higher unemployment rate than any other group of young people. Currently, around 36% of the young black men in London who are actively seeking work are unemployed, compared with 15% of white men in the same 18 to 24 age group, despite having similar levels of education and qualifications. Research carried out by BTEG with 200 young black men found that most have experienced negative stereotyping or discrimination in the job recruitment process, and believe that these are the main reasons for their high unemployment rate.

The Moving on Up initiative will establish:

  • A new London Advisory Group which includes the Greater London Authority, Jobcentre Plus, businesses, funders and charities. The London Advisory Group will be setting a target to reduce the unemployment rate for young black men in London over the next two years and track progress towards achieving this.
  • New funding grants for six employment support organisations to help more than 550 young black men into jobs.
  • New evidence and learning about what works to help young black men to get jobs, to be shared with employers and government departments through a series of briefing papers and events. 
  • Robust support to build evidence and learning from the Moving on Up initiative led by The Social Innovation Partnership.
  • A new internship programme creating at least seven new intern placements lasting 6 to 9 months and paid at the London living wage.

Bola Abisogun FRICS, Chair of the London Advisory Group and CEO of Urbanis Ltd said:

‘I am delighted to be chairing the London Advisory Group because it presents a rare opportunity to work with employers, employment support providers, policy makers and young black men and tackle this issue head on. As an employer I want to know why so many young black men in London are still finding it difficult to get a job or start a decent career, and what employers can do to change this. I very much hope that we can encourage more employers to get involved in this important initiative and do more to reach the young black male talent pool.’

Bharat Mehta OBE, Chief Executive of Trust for London said:

‘The gap between unemployment rates for young black men and young white men is a long standing and persistent issue but in recent years the gap has grown. This is despite improved educational outcomes, with even black university graduates twice as likely to be unemployed as their white counterparts.’

‘Trust for London is jointly funding the Moving on Up Initiative as part of our work to tackle issues of poverty and inequality in London - we hope that the programme will be a catalyst for enabling more young black men into employment.’ 

David Farnsworth, Chief Grants Officer, City Bridge Trust, said:

‘This is an important initiative which aims to find some solutions to a real and underestimated problem. We are pleased to be part of a partnership with Trust for London and BTEG where, we hope, our collective resources will be of real benefit now and in the future.’



1. For more information about this press release contact Jeremy Crook: Mob: 07766114877. BTEG address: 200a Pentonville Road, London N1 9JP. The Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG) is a London based national charity (Registered charity No: 1056043) working to achieve race equality and improve outcomes for ethnic minority people in education, employment and enterprise. For more information about BTEG visit Jeremy Crook Chairs the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Equalities Advisory Group (EAG) and Apprenticeships Advisory Group (AAG) and is a member of the Department for Work and Pensions Ethnic Minority Employment Stakeholder Group

2. Members of the London Advisory Group on reducing young black male unemployment are:

  1. Bola Abisogun (Chair), Urbanis Ltd
  2. Bharat Mehta, Trust for London
  3. Sioned Churchill, Trust for London
  4. Jeff Hayes, Trust for London 
  5. Albert Tucker, Social Business Network
  6. Ciaran Rafferty, City Bridge Trust
  7. Jeremy Crook, BTEG
  8. Junior Johnson, Department for Work and Pensions
  9. Prathiba Ramsingh, Jobcentre Plus
  10. Tim Riley, Greater London Authority
  11. Julie Hutchinson, East London Business Alliance
  12. Arun Batra,  National Equality Standard, Ernst & Young LLP
  13. Stephen Bediako, The Social Innovation Partnership
  14. Tony Wilson, Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion
  15. John Thorn, National Apprenticeship Service
  16. Ian Ashman, Hackney Community College
  17. Jermain Pryce, Diary’s Dutchpot
  18. Daniel Quirke, London Councils.

3, The six employment support organisations helping young black men to get jobs through the Moving on Up initiative are:

  • Action Acton
  • Elevation Networks
  • Hackney CVS
  • London Youth
  • Making the Leap
  • Step Ahead

4.    Trust for London is the largest independent charitable foundation funding work which tackles poverty and inequality in the capital. Each year we provide around £7 million in grants and at any one point are supporting some 400 voluntary and community organisations.

5.         City Bridge Trust is the grant-making arm of Bridge House Estates. It was established to make use of funds surplus to bridge requirements and provides grants totalling around £15m per year towards charitable activity benefitting Greater London.


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