YEG sub-group on ethnic disparities

Why set up an Ethnic Disparities sub-group?

The data that emerged from the Race Disparity Audit in 2017 highlighted employment disparities faced by young people from ethnic minorities, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only compounded these barriers. Post-pandemic, the fall in employment is four times higher for young Black people and nearly three times higher for young Asian people.

That’s why the Youth Employment Group (YEG) has launched an Ethnic Disparities sub-group, one of several sub-groups created in partnership with the Westminster Foundation, to zoom in on specific barriers young people face accessing employment. The sub-group is co-chaired by Youth Futures Foundation and the Council of Somali Organisations. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation stepped down as co-chair in November 2021. The Ethnic Disparities sub-group will work to tackle systemic racism and discrimination faced by young people from ethnic minority backgrounds in the labour market through working to influence policy change, fill evidence gaps and find solutions to challenging race disparity. It is an opportunity to zero in on the employment disparities young people from ethnic minority backgrounds face and a chance to bring together experts from the YEG to explore specifically how we can support more young people from ethnic minority backgrounds in to high quality education, training or employment.

The sub-group aims to identify how evidence is informing policy and practice and pinpoint any evidence gaps. We will also collaborate on research to start to fill the gaps and bring together researchers, practitioners and policy experts to develop evidence-based recommendations for policy and practice.

Current project

The sub-group held its first meeting in July and discussed the need for a rapid evidence review in this area. Youth Futures Foundation, on behalf of the sub-group, has commissioned a rapid review on the labour market, educational, social, migration and criminal justice policies that have influenced or affected ethnic minority youth employment over the past 10-15 years.

This review will highlight the positive and negative impact of policy decisions on ethnic minority youth employment over the past decade, identify gaps in current research and make recommendations for further research, policy innovation and reform. Alongside the REA, Youth Futures has also commissioned a data project and is scoping out a youth voice strand of activity. We aim to publish a report with policy and practice recommendations in late 2022.

How do I get involved in the sub-group?

If you are an organisation or employer that would like to discuss joining the YEG’s Ethnic Disparities sub-group, please get in touch by emailing

Youth Employment Group

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