The number of people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds in employment is at a near record high, with unemployment rates falling across all ethnic groups. Latest figures show that there are 129,000 more people from BME backgrounds in work compared to the same time last year, with the total number, at a near record high of more than 3 million. The employment rate has also risen by 0.7 percentage points over the last year. Unemployment has fallen for all ethnic minorities and is down by 2 percentage points (88,000) over the last year and down by 2.9 percentage points (103,000) since 2011.
The youth claimant count is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Work Coaches offer all claimants tailored support from day one of their claim. Under the Youth Contract, we are providing additional funding and Jobcentre Plus support for those who are still facing barriers to work including young people from Black and Ethnic Minority groups. We provide work experience and sector based work academy placements to give young people training and experience to help them to get into work. DWP employment programmes such as the Work Programme, Youth Contract and Mandatory Employment Programmes have been designed for all long-term claimants and are tailor made for the individual.
One of the Government’s strategies for increasing ethnic minority employment and participation in the labour market is based around mainstreaming opportunity through locally delivered flexible provision. In addition, in October 2014 we introduced an intensive 3 month support package for 18-19 year olds from Day 1 of their claim in areas of high youth unemployment and the 8 highest concentrated areas of young claimants from Black and Ethnic Minority groups. This additional support will run until the end of March 2015.