Posted by

Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service.

06 Nov 2015

The Prime Minister has set a challenge to increase the proportion of apprentices who are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds by 20 per cent by 2020. This is so the benefits of apprenticeships are open to all.

We know from our research that there are complex reasons why BAME people are currently under-represented, including both perceptions about apprenticeships within different communities, and employers’ recruitment practices.

In order to increase the number of BAME apprentices, businesses can help bybecoming an apprenticeship diversity champion and working with other businesses in their professional networks to create new apprenticeship opportunities, or to address any unconscious bias in recruitment processes.

Another option could be to mentor and support BAME candidates through the applications process, and inform BAME young people, parents and communities about the benefits of apprenticeships. Other steps could include organising events aimed at BAME candidates or encourage someone within their organisation to become a champion for apprenticeships in BAME communities and BAME-owned businesses,

We want it to become the norm for young people from all backgrounds to consider an apprenticeship as a route to a great career. Higher and degree apprenticeships are widening access to the professions and providing the higher level technical skills employers need to improve productivity and giving young people an equally valid career route as going to university.

To find out more about the business benefits of apprenticeships, please contact the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600 or visit the website greatbusiness.gov.uk/apprenticeships.

Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service.

All views expressed in guest blogs are that of the authors, and not of the British Chambers of Commerce.