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Apprenticeships: Why our young people must not miss out

THE STATISTICS on black youth unemployment are worrying. Recent figures from the Institute of Social and Economic Research have shown that students from a black and minority ethnic (BAME) background are between 5 per cent and 15 per cent less likely to be employed than their white British peers six months after graduation.

Despite the impressive achievements of young people in our community at GCSE and A level and the fact that young BAME people are enrolling at university in record numbers, it seems as though their hard work is not paying off in the job market.


They are not getting the rewards that their hard work in the classroom deserves. The difficult transition from education to the world of work that they face is something that should really concern us all.

It’s a problem that will have ripple effects for years to come — not only on young people’s future earning potential but also their ability to contribute to their community and the country and large.

But despite the bleak figures which tell us year after year that opportunities for young people in the workplace are limited, this is not something we should sit back and accept as normal.


Clearly we need more targeted and effective ways of helping them get a foot on the career ladder. That is why The Voice has been such a vocal champion of apprenticeships over the last few years.

And with this, we have launched our forth apprenticeship supplement availalbe here.

Apprenticeships offer a proven way of giving young people an opportunity to get education and training in skills that employers need and vital work experience at the same time as being paid.


This opportunity to earn and learn at the same time can set an apprentice on the fast-track to a long and successful career. They have been traditionally associated with certain industries such as manufacturing and construction.

But recent years have seen them adopted in a range of high-growth areas such as media, finance, health and IT.

It’s true that they haven’t received as much support as they could have done from African Caribbean families who believe that following the academic route to university will provide the best opportunity for good jobs.

It’s a misconception that continues because so many in our community do not know individuals who have successfully followed the apprenticeship route.

Watch out for more apprenticeship content this week

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