Addressing employment inequality for young black men

Moving On Up programme suggests five practical ways to address inequalities


In the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis there is a major risk of mass unemployment
with devastating long-term consequences for young people. Young black men, who faced
employment inequalities even before the crisis, are at particular risk.

By April, the Covid-19 crisis had pushed the UK’s youth unemployment rate to over 12%
(compared with just under 4% for the whole population). There are significant job losses to
come and with this year’s education leavers competing in a shrinking labour market there
are fears that more than one million young people will be jobless by the end of 2020.  Even
before this crisis, unemployment rates for young black men were more than three times the
rate for white young men, at every qualification level.

Since 2014, the Moving on Up programme, an initiative that aims to increase employment
opportunities for young black men in London, has been piloting practical solutions to
address the inequalities in employment outcomes. With growing numbers of individuals,
organisations and companies asking what they can do to end racism and racial inequalities,
they offer these solutions from the Moving on Up initiative:

1. Targeted approaches are needed. Generic youth employment or black, Asian and
minority ethnic (BAME) employment initiatives have not ended disparities for specific
populations such as young black men.

2. Local authorities and job centres can bring together key local agencies to jointly develop
and deliver action plans to support young black men into good quality jobs, as currently
being piloted in Brent and Newham.

3. Larger businesses can implement recruitment and workforce monitoring to identify if
young black men are under-represented within the company.

4. Business leaders can champion attracting, recruiting and encouraging progression of
young black men within their own companies and wider industries.

5. All businesses can engage with organisations working directly with young black men to
create pathways to opportunities.

Moving on Up has produced information, resources and networks to help other agencies to
deliver these solutions.

To find out more visit


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