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  • Writer's pictureBME National

Panorama and Sol Campbell highlight the plight of young black men

Last night’s Panorama programme, ‘Jobs for the Boys’ (13 May 2013) highlighted the crisis facing the country and another generation of young black men. BTEG congratulates Sol Campbell (ex-Arsenal and England footballer) for exposing the barriers young black men face in finding jobs.

In 2006 the black youth unemployment rate was 37 per cent; 2.5 times higher than the white youth unemployment rate. In 2012 the unemployment rate for black young people was 49 per cent; 2.2 times higher than for white young people.  Although unemployment has risen for all young people, the relatively far higher rates for young black people have been there for a long time. As Sol Campbell showed, many unemployed young black men are trying their hardest to find work and their frustration at their continued exclusion from the labour market was clear to see.

In 2012, 53 per cent of 16-24 year old young black people were in full time education compared to 39 per cent of young white people. But delaying entry to the labour market is not translating into improved job opportunities for young black men.

Jeremy Crook OBE, Director of Black Training and Enterprise Group,  who also appeared on the programme, says ‘The Panorama programme must be the catalyst for  employers, government and black organisations (that work with young unemployed people) to set up a national task force to drive targeted action to transform the life chances of young black men by creating job opportunities. We would like to see Sol Campbell lead such a task force ’

‘The time has come for schools, FE and HE institutions to put in place clear pathways from their institutions to employers. Young black men need to find out from colleges and universities before they enrol on a course how many people that look like them found employment as a result of completing the course. Employers also need to ask themselves whether they are doing enough to attract talented young black men’

‘Only the London Mayor has recognised targeted action is needed to tackle this problem and he has allocated £1m to support a mentoring programme for school age black boys. But programmes like this will struggle unless there is evidence that young black men will be rewarded with employment after success in education’

BTEG is currently recruiting successful black men to serve as volunteer role models to inspire young black males to achieve their education and employment goals. We also want black boys and young black men to join the programme, Routes2Success, and develop their own local projects to improve their prospects.


1.         Jeremy Crook is the Chair of the Department for Business, Innovation and         Skills External Equalities Group which advices Ministers and officials and a member of the Department for Work and Pensions, Ethnic Minority Employment Stakeholder Group. For more information about this Statement contact: Jeremy Crook OBE, Director. Tel: 0207 832 5810 or email:

2.         If you are young black male (11-25 years), an employer, a successful black or a local black group working with young black males then please contact or to find out more about Routes2Success – community role model programme for young black males. Routes2Success is supported by The Big Lottery and The Monument Trust.

3.         About BTEG

            BTEG is a London based national charity which was set up in 1991 by ethnic      minority voluntary organisations. The charity supports local ethnic minority groups that help people into work and advises government departments.  

BTEG is supported by Trust for London, City Bridge Trust, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Ministry of Justice, The Monument Trust and Big Lottery.

BTEG address: 200a Pentonville Road, London N1 9JP.

Registered charity No: 1056043

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