The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is introducing new employment initiatives to help young black men through construction and digital industries.
The new initiative, which was launched earlier this week at Tideway’s Southwark site, aims to help improve the unemployment rates of young black men and break down barriers they face when seeking employment in the construction and digital industries.
At the launch, mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the employment rates for young black men across the capital are not good enough.
“I don’t accept that there aren’t talented, entrepreneurial, skillful young black men in London. There are so many that I meet every day, they’re not given the opportunity. It could be the education system let them down, it could be because of discrimination, it could be because they didn’t realise these jobs are for them and we’ve got to give them the aspiration and the hope,” Khan told The Voice.
The scheme known as Workforce Integration Network will focus initially on increasing the number of young black men working in London’s construction and digital sectors before expanding to support Londoners from various backgrounds.
Beyond the traditional methods of supporting young people into employment, the scheme will encourage employers to appropriately signpost vacancies to black and minority ethnic (BAME) applicants and run campaigns to specifically target young black men.
Many of the difficulties that young black men face when seeking employment also correspond with the factors that contribute to them getting involved in criminal activity. Although the scheme is not an anti-youth crime initiative, it’s hoped that it could have an impact on redirecting young people.
“One of things that’s clear when you visit bereaved families who’ve suffered violence or you go to estates and communities where there’s been an increase in serious violent crime is they tell you that the young people there have got no sense of vision, aspiration or hope’. Said the Mayor.
“And when they see, in inverted commas, successful people, those successful people have become successful by criminality. And so they need to have hope and aspiration and ambition, they need to know there’s a career path, a way out, a lawful job they can achieve.” He concluded.
Young black men face some of the highest unemployment rates in London. Today, we’re proud to launch the Workforce Integration Network to help tackle the systemic bias which means too many talented young black men miss out on opportunities in our city pic.twitter.com/JtgLLUEaCD
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) May 9, 2018
Source: The Voice