People from ethnic minorities still disadvantaged in jobs and education

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 April 2017

Training can help adults in later life, but BME students are still leaving school without qualifications.

Training can help adults in later life, but BME students are still leaving school without qualifications.


People in North Somerset from ethnic minority backgrounds face ‘striking inequalities’ in education, housing and employment, it has been revealed.

More youngsters from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds are leaving schools without qualifications than their white counterparts.

It means North Somerset is rated the 71st worst area in the country out of 348 authorities for the lack of qualifications for those aged 16-24 in BME backgrounds, although it fares far better in other areas, including housing and health.

The figures, recently produced by the Runnymede Trust and the University of Manchester’s Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity, suggest 4.1 per cent of people from BME backgrounds are unemployed, compared to 3.6 per cent of people from white British backgrounds.

The data also shows 10.4 per cent of white British people aged 16-24 are leaving schools without qualifications, compared to 14.7 per cent from BME backgrounds.

The Weston Multicultural Friendship Association gives people from different ethnic backgrounds a chance to socialise and access training and jobs.

Chairman Triliria Newbury said the group can help people improve their English and learn new skills.

One of the ways the association supports people is by encouraging them to volunteer with different events and organisations.

She said: “I try to help them by signposting them to the council or to free courses they can take.

“We want to make people feel valued and so they can integrate with the local people and community.”

Mrs Newbury said some people from BME backgrounds can feel isolated but by offering them support and showing them how they can access training courses and jobs, it can help them with their confidence.

Dr Nissa Finney, from the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity, said: “The extent of ethnic inequalities is striking and it has not improved in the past 15 years.

“Ethnic minorities are disadvantaged in education, employment and housing.

“This is despite many initiatives to reduce inequalities.

“There is some great work going on in local areas and we need more of this.

“But our evidence shows this issue is so marked, persistent and potentially divisive that it also needs concerted attention at a national level.”

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