We have set an ambitious target to increase the proportion of apprenticeships started by people of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds by 20% by 2020 (up from a baseline average of 10% in the 2010-15 Parliament to 11.9% by 2020). 11.2% (42,200) of total starts in 2017/18 were by people of BAME backgrounds. This is the highest proportion reported over the past 8 years.
The Five Cities Project, launched in February 2018, is promoting the take up of apprenticeships by BAME individuals in Greater Manchester, London, Bristol, Birmingham and Leicester. Many partners are supporting this drive, including large employers such as B&Q, Rolls Royce, and Optimity, local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, apprenticeship providers, schools, and community groups.
Our Apprenticeships Diversity Champions Network (ADCN) has grown to over 70 members since its launch in 2017. It aims to influence the behaviour of other employers to support more people from underrepresented groups, including members of BAME communities, to start apprenticeships. Bristol City Council, an ADCN member, has launched a programme named 'Stepping up', which is providing a route for employees from BAME backgrounds into leadership positions through apprenticeships.
Our new marketing campaign, ‘Fire it Up’, launched in January 2019 and set out to change the way people think about apprenticeships, demonstrating that they are a prestigious option, accessible to people from all backgrounds. ‘Fire it Up’ advertising features clear representation of apprentices from a diverse range of backgrounds, and showcases apprentices from BAME backgrounds in high-status, professional roles.