An evaluation of a two-year, £1 million project to increase the employment rates for young black men in London has being launched.
The Moving on Up (MoU) Initiative is funded by CBT and Trust for London, in partnership with the Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG).
This initiative was in response to the consistently higher unemployment rates amongst young black men in London compared to other ethnicities. In 2013, the employment rate for young black men in London was just 56%, compared to 81% for young white men. Though this disparity improved over the next two years, it has stagnated since March 2016. This disparity does not just reflect educational differences between the two groups – in 2015, young black graduates were more than twice as likely to be unemployed than young white graduates one year after graduating (9.7% vs 4.6%).
The MoU Initiative aimed both to directly increase the employment rate amongst young black men in London through supporting targeted interventions; and to generate learning that could influence employers, mainstream employment support providers and funders/commissioners.
There were a number of positive outcomes from the Initiative:
- 271 young black men are known to be in paid work following their participation in MoU.
- MoU had the biggest impact on participants’ attitude, confidence and understanding of work.
- The thing that MoU participants valued most about the projects was that the staff cared.
- MoU participants also appreciated when the projects were targeted and tailored to young black men.
- The MoU Initiative has been able to raise awareness among policymakers of the issue of young black male unemployment.
However, the research showed that some key barriers remain:
- Engaging employers remains a key challenge.
- Young black men have to deal with barriers which are additional to those facing other young people trying to find jobs
- MoU participants had high aspirations to begin with.
- Social capital is still a key area of disadvantage.
- MoU participants had consistently negative views of Jobcentre Plus.
This evaluation will be shared with policy-makers, employers and community leaders as evidence of what works to support young black men into employment. At a time of skill-shortages, it is imperative that the thousands of young black men in London who are available for and actively looking for work are fully engaged.
A copy of the full evaluation report can be downloaded here.
A summary of the evaluation is available here.