Moving on Up (MOU) is an employment initiative helping young Black men to find jobs and careers in London’s competitive labour market.
MOU is testing a collective impact approach to improve coordination of employment support services for young Black men in Brent and Newham. West Ham United Foundation is one of the programme's partners, and here Education Manager, Temisan Williams, shares his insight into the foundation's experience supporting MOU.
As of June 2020, black males experienced an unemployment rate of over 10% more than their white male counterparts. Furthermore, with the COVID-19 pandemic not only negatively affecting youth unemployment but also enlarging the gap of those from black, asian and ethnic demographics who have been disproportionally affected in the UK, there is an essential need for more targeted and collaborative programmes.
West Ham United Foundation has been part of the Moving On Up Newham partnership, funded by City Bridge Trust and Trust for London, since January 2020. Our sole unified aim is to positively impact the outcomes of young black men aged 16-24 in the job market and support them in gaining the necessary skills to succeed. Other organisations involved in the partnership are: Action for Race Equality, A New Direction, Eagle, London, ELBA, London Works and Newham Workplace.
Now entering its third year, as the Education Manager, I have been able to experience the significant impact of the programme. Take Tola, for example: despite graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2017, he struggled to progress into his desired career in IT - instead working in several retail roles for almost three years. After starting on the programme in June 2020, Tola was then able to secure an IT Apprenticeship at the law firm, Forsters, within five months.
Being able to have a football tournament and food with the beneficiaries last year was a particular highlight and gave us an opportunity to understand their needs and support required more personally.
As COVID-19 restrictions relaxed it was important for us to provide enrichment activities for the programme beneficiaries. Being able to have a football tournament and food with the beneficiaries last year was a particular highlight and gave us an opportunity to understand their needs and support required more personally.
A crucial part of the programme was undoubtedly the engagement of employers at our monthly events. This has included guest speaker insight sessions from over 30 employers including Bouygues UK, HSBC, KPMG and more. For me, the importance of providing these opportunities and support for the beneficiaries cannot be understated, and as one beneficiary, Devonte Myles, concluded, “I encourage you to take advantage of everything this programme is going to offer you because you won’t realise how much you’ve grown by the end of it”
Find out more about Moving on up.
14 March 2022