New awards to raise the profile of exceptional BAME apprentices and employers leading the way for diversity and inclusion in the workplace
The UK’s first BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic groups) Apprenticeship Awards are being launched today by Pearson, the world’s learning company, and its partner Thinkfest.
The BAME Apprenticeship Awards will showcase the outstanding work and achievement of apprentices from black and minority ethnic groups and aims to inspire BAME apprentices to reach their full potential. The awards will also raise the profile of employers and training providers across the UK, who are championing the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
According to a 2019 government survey, between 2009 and 2018, the percentage of apprentices from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined increased from 6.7% to 11.1% whilst the number of people who participated in apprenticeships tripled over the same period to 90,200.
The survey showed a growing demand among BAME apprentices for apprenticeships in three subject areas: business administration, health and social care and retail and commercial enterprises (accounting for 81% of BAME apprentices compared with 72% of ‘White’ apprentices). It also highlighted opportunities to improve representation in sectors such as engineering and construction, where BAME apprentices are currently underrepresented.
Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice-President of BTEC and Apprenticeships commented:
“Championing diversity and inclusion is key to any sustainable business and I am delighted Pearson is launching the UK’s first BAME Apprenticeship Awards. We want to recognise and celebrate the achievements of BAME apprentices across the business community and throughout the UK. It is incredibly important to attract and develop talent from all communities including BAME in order to establish an inclusive workplace culture in which we can all thrive.”
The BAME Apprenticeship Awards evolved from the Asian Apprenticeship Awards, which launched in 2016 and to date has engaged with over 1,000 apprentices from BAME backgrounds across the UK. In the last four years, the awards have created over 200 role models who have been able to use their success as a platform to celebrate their achievements in their apprenticeship. The awards have also been instrumental in creating future leaders and ambassadors for Apprenticeships and brought to the forefront key issues surrounding the need for greater diversity within particular sectors.
Winning employers have showcased their diversity and inclusion strategies and how it’s helped them to shape an inclusive and diverse work environment as best practice examples for other organisations to follow suit.
“We feel that Awards are the most effective means of inspiring excellence and sharing best practice, as well as creating role models and providing more opportunities for those involved. We hope that by showcasing great BAME talent we can encourage more employers to be more inclusive,” says Kasim Choudhry director of Thinkfest.
Pearson will be hosting a launch event on the 31st March in London to bring together employers and stakeholders to share ideas on how to address the ethnicity employment gap among young apprentices, particularly those between the ages of 16 and 18, and share best practice on improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Nominations are now open, with several industry-specific categories for both apprentices and employers, as well as specific awards for learning providers, schools and academies.
The BAME Apprenticeship Awards feature the following categories which are open to both apprentices and employers:
- Financial Legal and Professional Services
- Health Medical and Social Care
- Retail Hospitality and Tourism
- Charity, Voluntary organisations and Public Services
- Engineering and Manufacturing
- Creative and Digital
- Transport and Logistics
- Micro Employer of the Year
- Small and Medium Employer of the Year
- Large Employer of the Year
- Learning Provider of the Year
For more information about the BAME Apprenticeship Awards visit: BameApprenticeshipAwards.co.uk