Employment – Working to dismantle barriers to employment

We recognise that employment is the main key to the enjoyment of a fulfilling life and endows most people with the dignity and pride in the contribution and participation in the economy, however there are several black and minority ethnic people who still face barriers to getting and staying in a job.

We understand that whilst several barriers to employment exist including lack of skills arising out poor educational qualifications and lack of work experience, there are other factors such as the stereotyping of certain groups that results in exclusion from informal networks and discrimination. Even in work most black and minority people face the ethnic penalty, their pay is much less than for the mainstream community and training, development, promotion is a major issue for them. It is clear that without any clear policy to address such issues, the rate of unemployment will be higher for ethnic minority people especially amongthe youth. and yet there are several positive action schemes that can be implement to boost the employment prospects of these communities so that they can contribute and participate fully in the economic life of this country.

Targeted apprenticeship schemes, leadership programmes that enable them to break through the glass ceiling, mentoring and coaching programmes and use of supplier diversity and procurement programmes are various instruments that can be used to redress the balance, but we think that doing nothing about the under-representation of minority communities in certain professions and higher grades in many professions is a waste of opportunity, especially when it has been found that even in their lowly places in the job market they contribute immensely to national growth and development.

The vicious cycle of black and minority ethnic youth unemployment can be turned into a virtuous cycle that has positive social advantages and benefits.