A pilot has been successfully launched in London to tackle some of the key barriers around apprenticeship diversity.

The Apprenticeship Hack, an initiative by The BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Apprenticeship Alliance, is a series of workshops which brings together BAME Apprentices to use their experiences as apprentices to find meaningful solutions or ‘hacks’ for increasing apprenticeship diversity with a focus on addressing it from a local perspective.  

This follows the latest data from the Government’s Race Disparity Audit showing BAME Apprentices making up 12% of the overall starts within England which, although an increase from previous years, shows an imbalance in the diversity of apprenticeships across key sectors.

In 2018, the Government launched the Five Cities project to address the BAME diversity of apprenticeships across Greater London, Greater Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Leicester and Bristol.

In its first pilot workshop, apprentices from across London explored some of the key barriers which impact someone from the BAME community to consider an apprenticeship, utilising their apprenticeship experience on overcoming the barriers the apprentices could experience, highlighting the role employers could play and crafting the ingredients of an ideal marketing campaign.

Rumana Chaudhury, Social Media and Digital Marketing Apprentice at Sage commented on The Apprenticeship Hack:

"The Apprenticeship Hack served beneficial to spark ideas on how we can disrupt the barriers of BAME communities undertaking apprenticeships and the best way to market this. The event proved a success with a handful of suggestions from each attendee. The conversations across the room were intimate with a small focus group, was very engaging with attendees split into groups to round up their ideas."

Commenting on the success of the first pilot of The Apprenticeship Hack, Isa Mutlib, Executive Director of The BAME Apprenticeship said: 

“I’m thrilled to see the first Apprenticeship Hack run successfully taking a different approach to addressing apprenticeship diversity.”

“It’s important to bring apprentices into the conversation - they understand the apprenticeship process but key to this is that they understand their communities better than anyone else.”

Once results have been evaluated from the initial pilot in London, the pilot is expected to expand to Greater Birmingham and Greater Manchester.

The BAME Apprenticeship Alliance is a community of organisations that aims to promote the diversity of apprenticeships through policy, advocacy and conversation. 

Members include Coca-Cola European Partners, Royal Air Force, NOCN Group, NCFE, Severn Trent, JTL, Dudley College, Pathway Group, Mindful Education and WorldSkills UK,  all of whom serve as leaders in promoting the diversity of apprenticeships.

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The BAME Apprenticeship Alliance have successfully delivered a number of key projects including a diversity and inclusion in apprenticeship conference which engaged with over 150 employers and training providers, an apprenticeship campaign in mosques which has had a 90% success in apprentice uptake, and contributed to research for leading organisations like EngineeringUK and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. 

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