Youth Futures Foundation and BITC announce partnership to support young people from ethnic minority backgrounds to enter and progress in work

May 22, 2024

The three-year partnership between Youth Futures Foundation and Business in the Community (BITC) will help employers to further understand and dismantle the barriers to accessing and progressing in work faced by ethnically minoritised 16 to 24-year-olds not in employment, education or training (NEET).  

Today’s announcement comes after Youth Futures Foundations’ Discrimination at Work report revealed almost half (48%) of young people from an ethnic minority background have experienced prejudice or discrimination when seeking to enter the workplace. The research also found young people are experiencing widespread discrimination once in employment, with seven in ten (70%) considering moving jobs as a result. Carried out with 3,250 young people, the survey is the largest of its kind in the UK. 

The new partnership brings together the growing evidence base and insights from young people that Youth Futures holds as the What Works Centre for youth employment, with the insights and experience BITC has gained through working with employers to address race inequality for the past 30 years.  

While BITC acknowledges there is still much more work to do, its Race at Work Survey shows that, since 2018, there has been an encouraging increase in the number of businesses committing to act through fulfilling the actions of the Race at Work Charter. 

Over the next three years, the partnership will support employers to further understand the barriers to employment faced by ethnic minoritised young people and will explore solutions, with a specific focus on supporting young people who live in communities with high levels of youth unemployment. This work will be underpinned by a national campaign, with evidence-informed calls to action and convening opportunities for employers to build their capacity to act.   

Nishi Mayor, Director of Employer Engagement & Partnerships, Youth Futures Foundation said 

“We are delighted to be partnering with BITC, which has been a driving force for improving equality of opportunity in the workplace for almost three decades. Our research with ethnically minoritised young people over the last two years illuminates the discrimination they face both securing work and progressing in their careers. This partnership is crucial in how we communicate this evidence with employers effectively and meaningfully and provide them with the tools they need to make change happen.”

Sandra Kerr CBE, Race Director, Business in the Community, said:  

“There are still too many barriers facing Black, Asian, Mixed Race, and other ethnically diverse young people getting into and get on in work. Employers play an integral role in ensuring that all young people feel valued, respected, and safe at work, and we hope this partnership with Youth Futures Foundation will encourage more employers to act so that no one gets left behind.”

Claire Camara, Global Chief People Officer, EssenceMediacom, and member of Youth Futures’ People and Culture Committee, said:  

“It is important that employers are fit for the future of our ever-changing workforce which is why I am delighted to see Youth Futures Foundation working in partnership with Business in the Community to deliver on the employer calls to action captured in the Discrimination and Work report. Over the next three years the partnership will work with employers to create a culture and environment that enables young people from ethnically minoritised backgrounds to thrive and progress once in work – helping to turn this important evidence into action and unlock the incredible potential of our young people.”


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