Black History Month – Diverse employment is the way forward

Written by ELBA’s Employment Team

The last 18 months have been life-changing for so many of us, but here at ELBA it’s been business as usual throughout! We have tons of beneficiaries who look to us for support in their careers, and of course these days most job-seekers face an even bigger challenge to secure themselves work. We have a wide range of programs running through our employment team, and our 4 biggest programs all specifically serve the black communities across London to support them with their career journeys.

Given the recent upturn in the job market, we have lots of clients who are looking to bring new staff into their organisations and many are also seeking to diversify their teams, and so they look to us and our diversity recruitment agency London Works, to help them in sourcing talented & untapped potential that exists in the communities that surround their offices & headquarters.

The month of October is globally known as Black History Month, a time when we celebrate the achievements and progress of the black community but to also recognise the contributions of individuals who have had an impact over the years, however having worked in the community sector for over 3 whole decades, we are aware more than most of the disadvantages that the black community still faces as a whole, and particularly those who come from the most deprived boroughs in London (making them some of the most disadvantaged people in both London and the UK!). We recognise the severe disparity that exists in employment figures for black people in London and we constantly strive to provide tangible & meaningful opportunities to these communities.

A report was recently released by the Public Accounts Committee, reference the face that the already existing ‘shocking inequality’ has only worsened through the pandemic. The impact on young black people particularly acute, with unemployment rising to a “shocking” 41.6% in the last quarter of 2020, compared to an already high 24.5% a year earlier. In the same period, unemployment in young white people increased from 10.1% to 12.4%

After lots of positive conversations with our clients about the amazing candidates we have available, and their current recruitment requirements, we have put together a virtual jobs fair with 7 different organisations who we work closely with, as they are strong supporters of our mission to improve diversity & equality across the London job landscape! Our beneficiaries had access to learn about and apply to over 25 different live vacancies across various industries & functions, catering for the mixed backgrounds of the attendees (students, graduates, unemployed, career-changers, etc.)

The day itself was a great success with over 25 people in attendance, and 5 of them have gone on to apply for roles they’d learned about later that same day! Below we have listed some quotes from both the attendees & company representatives to demonstrate exactly what the opportunity meant to them:

“Jobs fair was brilliant and I am speechless! This has opened a lot of doors for me and I have messaged Daniel (my mentor who referred me) to say how grateful I am. I am really thankful, I’ve made a lot of notes and will be sending all my details over tonight. I am intrigued to learn more about Higgins – I want to visit their site and see the opportunities in person.”

– Attendee (New ELBA Beneficiary)

“The jobs fair was amazing! I am interested in getting back into construction work so it was great to see so many opportunities on offer! Really grateful for you running this jobs fair for me & others to attend.”

– Attendee (Existing ELBA Beneficiary)

“The Jobs Fair was a great event and it was good to connect with all the prospective candidates. We would like to continue supporting this initiative in future too.”

– S&P Global

Getting such positive feedback like this only serves to pour fuel on our fire and further drive us to achieve transformational outcomes for the candidates we work with! Whilst the overall landscape is still quite bleak for many, we remain extremely hopeful & determined to ensure that we can continue to convert people’s hopes into reality with sustainable & progressive job opportunities and endless career support throughout.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help to support you with bringing in more diverse talent for the benefit of your own team & organisation, then please feel free to contact Caz (London Works’ Business Manager):

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