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The Prime Minister has set out challenging Government targets to increase black, Asian and minority ethnic opportunities by 2020, including take-up of apprenticeships, employment and recruitment to the police and armed services.
The Scottish Government have launched a programme entitled, “New Scots: Integrating Refugees in Scottish Communities”, in order to ensure that refugees have every opportunity and support to rebuild their lives in Scotland. What similar initiatives are the UK Government taking to support refugees and fight racism?
I agree with the hon. Gentleman, and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made a significant commitment in that area. Many of the country’s top employers, including the civil service, are committing to name blind recruitment processes, and UCAS will be making university applications name blind from 2017.
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We should certainly encourage companies across the country—not just FTSE 100 companies, which seem to be making significant efforts, but companies large and small—to look at diversity and how they can use it to improve their business.
Apprenticeships are an extremely important part of the Government’s agenda. We have a target of 3 million apprenticeship starts during this Parliament. Within that, the Prime Minister has clearly set out the Government’s commitment to ensure that 20% of those apprenticeship starts are for BME young people, which I think is a great step forward.