Many of the realities of BAME communities speak volumes about inequality. However, when we look at the issue more closely, it is often inclusion that would make the biggest difference. This applies across a range of societal markers such as employment opportunities, earning potential, access to services and more.
To foster greater inclusion of BAME individuals in society we need to work hard to promote BAME communities’ capacity and skills and showcase their importance.
The problems are concerning in a number of different ways. For example:
• 55% of employed refugees in the UK are overqualified for the jobs they are doing. This is over twice the level of the employed native-born population . They should and could be achieving more and earning more. Much of this problem may be because qualifications are not recognised.
• Language barriers can prevent skilled individuals from accessing appropriate opportunities.
• Discrimination, both real and perceived, can greatly affect confidence making it harder for BAME individuals to access opportunities as easily as those from a white background.
• Only 10% of ethnic minority groups are likely to start an apprenticeship compared with 15% of the wider population.
• 27% of Indian women, 30% of Pakistani women and 31% of Bangladeshi women are carrying out unpaid childcare in stark contrast with just 6% of white British women .
• Refugee and migration status can lead to barriers which prevent an individual from a BAME background from accessing support and entering work. Simple things like not having relevant documentation or proof of address can create barriers to entry.
At Diversity Living Services we are keen to promote the capacity and skills of the BAME community in order to reduce barriers to entry in terms of employment and access to services.
We aim to promote the skills and capacity of the BAME community within the arena of work but also within education and access to services. Furthermore, our goal is to not only recognise the problems faced by those in the BAME community, especially refugees and asylum seekers, but to actively enable the individual to take steps to reduce the impact of their difficulties in getting their skills and capacity recognised.
At Diversity Living Services we undertake a number of different actions to support the promotion of skills and capacity of the BAME community:
• Access: We provide information and encouragement to enable non-English speakers to access English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses so that they can confidently use their skills at the appropriate level within the workforce. Furthermore, we help those from the BAME community to access job training and work experience through networking with local employment services, colleges and other training organisations.
• Advice: We work in communities to provide support, guidance and advice when an individual’s migration or refugee status is hindering their entry to the job market. Help and advice may include organising official documentation and accessing the benefit system.
• Advocacy: We work as a support to provide advice to asylum seekers, refugees and minority ethnic groups when it comes to accessing employment, education and training opportunities. We help individuals know how they can ensure their skills are recognised and how they can transfer qualifications and thus improve their employability.
Through our consistent and advice based support we anticipate that we will see greater diversity and inclusion in employment, but also throughout society. We hope to see greater uptake of training and apprenticeships by young people from a BAME background. We also anticipate that through our actions there will be a reduction in those from BAME communities working in roles which they are over-qualified for.
Diversity Living Services is accredited to UN in Special Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Diversity Living Services is a registered Company and Charity (England and Wales) Registered Company No: 4459816 * Registered Charity No: 1098916