Targeted support for BME young people seeking apprenticeships

Voluntary Action Leeds supports the development of new projects aiming to break down the barriers to learning and education for young people with black, asian and minority ethnic heritage .

The Black Minority Ethnic (BME) Hub, supported by VAL, has played a key role in stimulating action aiming to tackle the under-representation of BME young people in apprenticeships and extended learning.

The innovative new work developed by Leeds City Council's Apprenticeship Hub consists of a project giving specialist advice and support targeted at BME young people. Additionally, the BME Hub has worked with a project, Go Higher, supporting young people to overcome barriers to Higher Education.

The BME Hub’s role is to promote the voice of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people across Leeds; ensuring that decision makers hear things needs to change to make Leeds the Best City for everyone. The Hub membership includes people from all walks of life with an interest in advocating for the ethnic and culturally diverse communities within the city. 

Discussions facilitated through the hub, highlighted an under-representation of BME young in apprenticeships and challenged partner organisations to ‘close this gap’ and improve support in this area for BME young people. Working with a learning and advice organisation, prospects, the council’s Apprenticeship Hub has recently announced a project which provides targeted 1:1 advice and support to BME young people to help them choose the right career path.

Go Higher West Yorkshire is investigating ways it  can work with community groups to dispel the myths and barriers that stop BME young people going to university.

These schemes begin to address the challenge that BME Hub members set in 2017 to do more targeted work that enables young people to understand all their options and have the confidence to apply for new opportunities.

In the coming year the BME Hub plans to go back to these organisations to find out how things are going, and to continue to shout out loud to encourage other organisations to take positive action.

Richard Warrington, Development worker at Voluntary Action Leeds, stated; “these projects provide very tangible examples of how the BME hub is challenging inequalities within our communities through the promotion of constructive, action focused dialogue between organisations and sectors”.

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