Youth entrepreneurship in the African-British Community in South-Wales

The Centre for African Entrepreneurship recently conducted a report looking into the current status of young British Africans residing in South Wales within the labour market, here are the key findings of this report. Here is a summary of all the official statistics published in the last few years relating to the employment and economic activity status of young British Africans living in Cardiff and the rest of South Wales:

Overall youth unemployment in Cardiff year ending 31st December 2015 to year ending 31st March 2016 in comparison to other areas in South Wales (Office for National Statistics, 2016).

  • One survey authorised by the House of Commons found that ethnic minorities faced levels of unemployment as high as 9.6% compared to their white counterparts 4.3% unemployment rate in the period between December 2015 and February 2016 (Delebarre, 2016).

  • Young Black people are doubly disadvantaged by this.

  • This is further proved by the fact that according to the 2011 National Census in Wales the percentage of economically inactive white population aged 16-24 years old is 29.26%, whereas the percentage of economically inactive black population aged 16-24 years old is 34.57% despite the black population being significantly smaller in size. This highlights the issue of this population finding it harder to enter/stay in employment, based on their race with no other variable factors.

  • From doing this research came to find a significant lack of statistical data based on this populations (young black people in south wales) activity in the labour market, suggests that not something that is being looked at let alone addressed.

Barriers this population face to employment:

Many of the youth employing industries in Britain of the past have diminished, such as manufacturing and production based businesses that had a strong culture of employing and training young apprentices.

Almost half of young graduates are stuck in jobs that do not require degree education, highlighting the shrinking opportunities available to young British Africans regardless of their education.

Also a lack of training beyond aid in gaining qualifications on how to start and develop one’s career successfully thus stifling their potential for growth.

Lack of necessary skills and disenfranchisement with the labour market is also hurting this population’s ability to succeed.

How self-employment can be the answer to this:

Many of the barriers relating to employment are linked to factors outside of this population’s control as there are only so many jobs available in the current labour market. However, entering self-employment does not have the same limitations as it allows the individual to create a work environment best suited to take advantage of their skills and their skills of their employees and co-workers later down the line, thus creating unique opportunities for growth not only for themselves but others.

Furthermore, self-employment provides a long term solution to the disenfranchisement that a large percentage of this population faces as it empowers individuals to solve the problems in their local communities face, and take advantage of the opportunities for growth within their communities that outsiders are not aware or unsuited to address, thus placing them in a unique position to create successful social enterprises. This is why the Centre of African entrepreneurship believes that investing in providing this population with the skills they need to build businesses is a prerequisite for reviving the labour market, so that it is better primed for serving every facet of society in the future.

What the CAE plans to do to address this:

From this report it is clear to see that the support this population both needs and wants is the training and mentorship of individuals experienced in business to guide them through the phases of business creation and development, as well as how to successfully build a presence within their chosen industries. The nature of the support needs also to be practical rather than theory based so that upon gaining the knowledge the individuals feel empowered to put what they have learnt into action and see real results.

With the support of CWVYS and in partnership with other CWVYS members, the CAE plans to create a business clinic to provide business idea development, and a network and mentorship programme to provide these young people with the support and knowledge necessary to ensure they are able to succeed in the work of entrepreneurship.

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