BBC1 highlights poor prospects for young black men

17 May 2013

CYT charity hopes to offer aspiring apprentice a placement

An aspiring construction apprentice who appeared in a Panorama documentary this week about the  poor employment prospects faced by young black men could be given a helping hand by industry charity The Construction Youth Trust (CYT). 

The documentary Jobs for the boys?, broadcast on BBC1 on Monday May 13, and presented by ex-England defender Sol Campbell, examined the situation facing black men aged 16-24 in the UK, who are now twice as likely to be out of work than their white male counterparts.

As part of the programme Campbell spent six months with four unemployed young black men, including 21-year-old Londoner Abdee Hakim Mohammed, the son of a refugee, who despite having passed a taster course in building services engineering and writing more than 400 job applications, remained unemployed and on Job Seekers Allowance.

The CYT has been in contact with the programme’s makers to ask if Hakim Mohammed might be suitable to sign up to its Budding Brunels programme, which aims to recruit youngsters from diverse ethnic backgrounds into higher level technician apprenticeships.

Christine Townley, executive director at the CYT, told CM: “Through the scheme we’re working with the likes of Arup, Mott MacDonald and Transport for London to recruit apprentices and help them progress to becoming civil engineers or M&E building services specialists, which could be a great opportunity for this young man if he’s suitable.”

The unemployment rate for young black men is almost 49%, more than double the figure for young white men, according to the Office of National Statistics.

Meanwhile, African Caribbean graduates are three times more likely to be unemployed than white graduates, showing that even those with qualifications find it harder to move into jobs. 

“More needs to be done to get young black men in front of the industry,” added Townley. “Most construction firms are willing to take on young black workers, but they don’t necessarily know how to access them through their traditional recruitment processes, and young black men are also unaware that those processes exist or they don’t see construction as a profession that is suitable for them. Ultimately it’s about opening eyes to see talent where we haven’t seen it before.”


The electronic version of Construction Manager has in the summary box the link below

BBC1 highlights poor job future for blacks...

Why not just use the 'N' word and be really totally racist. Saying Black men or afro-carribean or other accepted phrase is ok but saying 'blacks' is a derogatory use of language - apology perhaps.

Derek Grainge MCIOB, 17 May 2013

Thank you for your comment, we would like to apologise for our editing mistake.

Elaine Knutt, 17 May 2013

I am in support of the issues flagged up by Sol Campbell's documentary. Also I want to challenge the UK construction industry for not doing enough in helping young black men and women into the industry. The images of the struggling few blacks in the industry and those who have been frustrated out of the industry form part of the reason why the UK construction industry remain unattractive to young blacks. My personal experience as a graduate, professional and a company proprietor reinforce this issue which needs urgent and meaningful solution. I applaud the temporary apprenticeships mentioned in the write up but the issue on the ground calls for equal opportunity given to each person where individual talent and skills can flourish for the big players in the industry to observe without glass ceiling placed somewhere to retard growth. The UK construction industry need to open up to allow these wasted skills and talents to add untold values that will bring great benefits for it.

Tunji Lala, 29 July 2013

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