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Jobs for black male graduates – it’s not adding up

Author: Jeremy Crook OBE, Chief Executive, Black Training and Enterprise Group

Last week BBC London News reported that London’s black male graduates are less likely to get jobs.

The BBC contacted 50 of London’s 500 leading graduate employers to find out how many young black males they hired last year. Only 11 provided the information, which showed that of 1,803 graduates recruited in 2016, 30 were black males. Shockingly, of the 112 graduates taken on by the NHS in 2016 none were black men.

BTEG has been looking at the numbers and they just don’t add up……

  • 30 black males out of 1,803 recruits is less than 2%. We know from the 2011 Census that around 7% of young people (age 20 to 24) in London are black males. If 7% of the graduate recruits reported to the BBC were black males that would be nearer to 130 – that’s a lot more than 30.
  • Of course we don’t know how many recent graduates in London are black males and we don’t know how many black males applied for the 1,803 jobs that were reported to the BBC. We do know that fewer black males have a degree-level qualification compared with young men from other ethnic groups; in London, a young black man is only half as likely to have a degree as a young Asian man.
  • We also know (from the Annual Population Survey) that the unemployment rate in London for black male graduates is twice as high as the rate for white male graduates. And we know that in 2016, in London, more than 2,000 young black men with a degree were unemployed and looking for a job.

What the numbers do add up to is a playing field for young black male graduates that is far from even. There is no shortage of qualified young black men in London looking for career opportunities, but an apparent shortage of companies running graduate schemes that are successfully recruiting young black men onto these. More companies need to make sure that their own equalities policies and recruitment practices are adding up to fair opportunities for young black men.

Moving on Up aims to increase employment opportunities for young black men in London. Moving on Up is for all young black men in London who want to find work and for all employers in London who want to recruit from this pool of talented young people. Find out more about Moving on Up here.

Moving on Up is holding an event on Monday 10 April 2017, at EY in More London, to explore what construction and development companies can do to create more employment opportunities for young black men in London. Any young black men, with or without qualifications, are welcome to attend. Any employers, particularly from the construction and development sectors are welcome to attend. You can book a place for the event here.