East London employers meet young Black jobseekers at Newham event

Vibhav Haldankar, Catherine Pearce and Simone Casey at the Newham jobs fair

Premier Inn Canary Wharf manager Vibhav Haldankar, Newham Jobcentre Plus employer adviser manager Catherine Pearce and Whitbread new openings manager Simone Casey at the jobs fair - Credit: Moving on Up

A jobs fair was held in Newham to help young Black men overcome the unemployment disparities they face compared to their white peers.

More than 40 people met with local employers and learnt about work and apprenticeship opportunities in east London at the event run by Newham Jobcentre Plus and Black youth employment programme Moving on Up.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) statistics show young Black men face consistently lower employment rates than other young people, regardless of their qualification level.

In 2019, 33 per cent who were available and looking for work were unemployed compared with 15pc of young white men, while for graduates, the respective rates were 13pc and 4pc.

The jobs fair at Newham Altitude Job Centre on July 15 featured 13 leading employers looking to recruit for current vacancies, including Whitbread, the Met Police and Morgan Sindall Construction.

Simone Casey from hotel company Whitbread said: "We'll be contacting seven young men we met at the jobs fair to set up interviews for roles at our new Premier Inn in Canary Wharf.

"We're interested in recruiting young Black men for duty manager roles at Premier Inn, which will be a good opportunity if they’re at college doing business studies and want to work around two days a week to learn the practical side of business."

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Morgan Sindall Construction says it received several CVs from people keen to secure one of the apprenticeship roles it is offering.

Successful applicants will work on a project at the Manor Road Quarter residential development in Canning Town.

The company says it wants to fill an apprentice trainee site manager role quickly, as a 22-year-old man currently in that position will be starting work as a site manager in September.

Newham organisations West Ham United Foundation, East London Business Alliance (ELBA) and A New Direction also signed up new candidates for Moving on Up, which they deliver in partnership with Action for Race Equality.

DWP employer adviser manager at the Jobcentre Plus, Catherine Pearce, said the event gave young people an "insight into opportunities and a chance to apply for the opportunities, which they probably wouldn’t have known about if they hadn’t attended".