Sarah Webster

How do we increase apprenticeship
participation in sectors employing low numbers
of ethnic minority people?
Sarah Webster
Corporate Relations and Employment Manager
What is the national landscape?
Who are City Gateway and what do we do?
Increasing ethnic minority engagement – aspirations and cultural barriers, working with
parents and careers advisors
Removing barriers – recruitment processes that prevent BME applicants succeeding
Specialised services and mentoring being provided by training providers to support BME
The National Picture
BTEG report
People from black and minority ethnic (BME)
communities make up:
42% of the population of London
30% of people who start Apprenticeships in London
National Apprenticeship Report
“Black and minority ethnic (BME) young people
are badly under-represented in
Apprenticeships compared with their numbers
in the population as a whole. They areunderrepresented in the ‘traditional’ craft-based
sectors and particularly in some of the more
‘modern’ frameworks, such as customer service
(6%) and hospitality (3%)”;
“BME apprentices are also more likely not to
progress to a related job after completion of
their framework than other apprentices. They
are also less likely than other young people
not to gain an Apprenticeship after completing
a pre-Apprenticeship course”;
11% of the population of England
6% of people who start Apprenticeships in England
BTEG (2008)
Black and minority ethnic (BME) young people
are very under-represented in apprenticeships
compared with their numbers in the
population as a whole. BME people make up
less than 3% of the apprentices in construction,
land based industries, science, engineering and
manufacturing, building services engineering,
and hair and beauty.
Tower Hamlets and City Gateway
• In Tower Hamlets: 44.5% of children in out of work families; 38.1% of
children do not speak english at home; 44.7% of people born abroad;
female employment is 15% below national average
• City Gateway works with 76% young people coming from BAME
backgrounds (58% Asian/Asian British; predominantly Bengali)
• 91% success rates on our apprenticeships (15% higher than national
• 60.7% of our young people on pre apprenticeship programmes had
additional learning needs (2011/12)
• 45% of our current apprentices are working in high end financial services
Employer Registration Process
Identify the area of the business the apprentices could benefit
Year long work and training plan defined, managers and mentors identified with support from CG
Corporate Relations team. Job descriptions agreed.
Apprentice selection
Apprentices complete written application, CG provides short list, interviews arranged and apprentice
On-boarding through HR/Recruitment
City Gateway support provided throughout
including minimum of 2 appraisal meetings
Support provided for the apprentice beyond the 12
City Gateway Support
• Relationship Manager
• Retention Worker
• Internal support team – Safeguarding team
Pathways onto
1) Working with schools, support workers, careers
advisors and parents
2) Providing pre apprenticeship programmes that
prepare young people for employment
3) Train candidates in the application processes,
relevant to their industry, giving additional emphasis
on less traditional industries
4) Investment by firms in insight days, talks and
How do we remove barriers from
employers recruitment processes?
Employers want the best candidates –
some will not have practises to ensure
equal opportunity
Employers should be advised on cultural
Candidates need to be thoroughly
prepared for the process
Providing mentors from the business to
assist them through this process
Supporting BAME apprentices
to succeed
Cultural change moves slowly – but success is critical
for more ethnic minority apprentices to enter
industries over time
Supporting the apprentice and the employer
throughout the first 6 months to a year ensures much
higher retention and success rates
For further information

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