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Time for city firms to reach out to London's young black men

CHANGE: Employment for young black men

IN ONE of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, young black men struggle to land good city jobs.

A study by the Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG) shows that young black men are less likely than young white men to be working in London’s finance sector.

Through in-depth interviews with young black men already working or looking for jobs in the city, the research found that most had experienced barriers, with almost one third citing racial discrimination as the main reason why fewer young black men are working in finance roles.

Jeff Hayes, Chair of Trust for London said: "The City of London has attracted talent from around the globe for decades but its track record of employing young black men is poor.

"This is not the case in other major cities, like New York, and therefore I want to not just to encourage, but request that companies work with us to attract talented young black men into a long term career, such as Finance.

"These young black men who often face additional barriers outside of their control and can suffer from being stereotyped and need our support. Young black men make up 1 in 5 of all young males in London and we want this group of young people to be defined by their talent, their drive and positive contributions."

Hayes added that The Trust for London has invested a substantial sum into this project, and together Mayor Khan, City Bridge Trust and BTEG are focused on integrating more young black men into the workforce.

"The finance sector offers a wide range of opportunities for them to fulfil their ambitions. We need all young Londoners to bring their ideas, energy and keep London’s finance sector ahead of the competition.’

Jeremy Crook OBE, Chief Executive of BTEG, believes that more city employers should adopt a proactive approach to recruiting diverse talent. He said: “At BTEG, we regularly meet bright, talented, qualified young black men who are searching for good careers but are not getting the opportunities.

"There is a lot more that companies can do to reach these young people, including by working with intermediary organisations and programmes like Moving on Up.”

Moving on Up is a five year programme, led by Trust for London and City Bridge Trust in partnership with BTEG, to increase employment opportunities for young black men in London.

The programme is working with employers to encourage more young black men into high quality jobs in finance, banking and insurance, and in other key London job sectors.

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