SE17Working: Tackling Unemployment and Inequality

Friday 26th June 2020

SE17Working is proud to be submitting our paper to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Social Mobility. Our paper highlights the disadvantages that BAME jobseekers face in finding and staying in work and what we do to help them overcome these barriers.


The key part of our findings are;

  • We believe that the SE17working programme works because the services we provide incorporate cultural dynamics into the journey into finding employment. With our staff also being from BAME families, we directly identify with our clients and we are able to have a full understanding of their emotional and physical barriers to employment. The team can ask the right questions, respect boundaries, and get to the ‘bare bones’ of what the client needs. This may be lack or loss of identity, and an inability to articulate feelings without having to lose their pride in the process.
  • We provide a culturally-themed hot meal at all workshops we deliver, to align with the BAME culture of eating and engaging, and have a well-equipped and conveniently located training space. This helps to aid retention for the duration of the activity, which in turn maximises learning. It also encourages conversation, helping to build relationships for those who are feeling isolated and giving them strength and stamina to stay on their path into work. 
  • We’re committed to working with lone parents, a key target group in our community We see the economic and emotional effect that family breakdown and absent fathers has on the household. These hard-working women often have a complicated relationship with their sons as a result. Many of our black female clients go into care roles, mainly as there is a high demand and there are always vacancies. This type of work includes long shifts, so they are not always at home to spend time with their children, supporting them with homework, or eating together. 
  • Welfare to work delivery must be delivered through an established third sector body such as ours, which already has a connection with the community it serves. In our experience this body needs to offer the following to get positive, sustainable results: 
  1. flexible service delivery in a space close to clients’ homes 
  2. the ability to support with childcare needs 
  3. recognition of client diversity by employing staff and trainers who reflect it 
  4. recognition that clients have differing needs and barriers to employment 
  5. a supportive and safe training environment with hot food and drink 
  6.  incentivising and celebrating client success 
  7. support for clients whilst in work, including travel bursaries and help to buy work-suitable clothing

To read the full report click here SE17 Working APPG Report