Raising Aspirations and Inspiring Change - The DWP Mentoring Circles programme

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The IOC stands forward with Minister for Employment, the Rt Hon Mims Davies and Sandra Kerr CBE to pledge signature of the express sector to the race at work charter. The IOC stands forward with Minister for Employment, the Rt Hon Mims Davies and Sandra Kerr CBE to pledge signature of the express sector to the race at work charter.

IOC set to sign the DWP Race at Work Charter for the express sector.

Institute Of Couriers Carl Lomas was at HSBC Docklands E14 with DWP for an overview of the Race Disparity Audit at HSBC in docklands.

It was time to commit to the Race at Work Charter.



In 2015, the Government made a commitment to increase Ethnic Minority employment by 20% by 2020. There are 594,000 more people from Ethnic Minority backgrounds in employment (66.2%). This represents a 18% increase in the number of Ethnic Minority people employed and 89% progress towards the 2020 target.

To better understand the issues faced by different ethnic groups, the Government published a Race Disparity Audit in 2017. It highlighted disparities across public life, including a gap in employment rates between Ethnic Minority and White people. Today this gap stands at 9.7 percentage points, a near record low. However, there is still more to be done. Talvir Bains (HSBC) opened the Docklands event, ‘It is a privilege to see so many of you from so many different sectors and employers.


Minister for Employment, Rt. Hon. Mims Davies

'Flexible working is the way we should do it.'


‘I have escaped BREXIT Westminster to be with you today, I pass the HSBC building we are in today as I run the London Marathon.’ ‘The Govt has committed to equality in employment. Since 2015 600,000 more people from ethnic , minority backgrounds are in employment. There is still more to do. How did the race disparity audit challenge Govt? We need to change our perception of job centres, deal with confidence issues for individuals must be dealt with , financial issues and childcare often needs addressing, Mentoring Circles – Young people and skills is a priority, it does not matter if you don’t now what the job is. Self-employment is acceptable, from car booting to eBay, where are our next entrepreneurs?, self-starting message should be loud at all points in your career. Work is a journey, study, sabbatical, training, they all need to be part of your work journey.’


‘DWP have diversity information for all sizes of employer, we understand you have a day job. Flexible working should be the way we do it. Cut down everyone driving to work at nine on a Monday. Shift work brings access, not everyone can be part of a workforce starting on a fixed time. Connectivity in rural areas does not allow everyone to start work at the same time. Be diverse and flexible, support your workforce.’


Sunita Singal, DWP,

‘I work on the race disparity audit, I am an ethnic minority mum, I want to see my two sons meet their aspirations. I don’t want them to think they are men of colour. How can we raise change and create inspiration for all equality? DWP delivered mentoring circles, a programme of inclusion in motion, engaged for delivery within employer offices. Fujitsu held their event Manchester HQ, bringing new talent in to the organisation.


Sandra Kerr CBE – Race Campaign Director (BITC) overview of the Race at Work charter. Sandra talked, race at work charter, one-year-on survey 2019 and what more employers can do.

‘I have done a lot of work on the race at work charter, I encourage organisations to sign the charter'


The charter has five calls to action,

1 Appoint an executive sponsor for race.

2 Capture your ethnicity data and publish progress.

3 Commit at board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying.

4 Supporting equality in the workplace is the responsibility of all learners and managers.

5 Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression.


2019 news oct race at work charter 02
Sandra Kerr CBE ‘Do your best to support diversity, it needs to be a partnership of everyone moving together.’



Welcome by HSBC – Oliemata O’Donoghue,

Over twenty years in banking, let me talk to you about how HSBC work with DWP and Embrace UK. Our vision is to foster an inclusive workplace by providing support, awareness and education to achieve our shared ambition, we want to be an inclusive workforce. We look at retention and new growth on our journey. Inclusion in Motion is a call to action which recognises the work of Embrace UK. HSBC has signed the Race to Work charter.


Celebrating Black History Month.

Positive inspirational stories from Mentors Tideways and Saracens Rugby Club with Mentees


A mentee,

I was in prison and started work via an apprentice job fair in Marylebone, my mentor tells me about himself and I tell him about myself, we have a strong bond, he helped me understand I belong here, there are hundreds of young people out there looking for a job, mentoring circles help connect young people to employers.



‘I work for Tideway, Tideway are very fortunate to give time to get involved in the community, my experience has been fantastic, bringing positivity to young people, employers be aware young people get stuck in applications, young people lack the soft skills of transition from education stepping into work. Employers, take a chance on these young people.’


A mentee,

Carla as my mentor, she asked me what does vision mean to a young person? About two years ago I met a man on a train who asked me about where my shoes were from, I answered 'my Mum'. A trajectory set me to think about why I could not tell him where they really came from. Today I am in college studying criminology and law. I meet her for lunch, she has organised a sample day in work with her at Tideway.


Mentor, Carl Redgrave from Saracens Rugby Club,

We are currently English rugby champions, based in Barnet we have Saracens sport foundation and we work with up to seventy five thousand young people a year, this ranges from a rugby intro session to a four year track to employment. We are more than just rugby, we want to support young people in our community. Our job is to break the perception that rugby is a middle-class sport. Our values are respect & humility and these values are strong in all workplaces.


‘It's time to sign up for the Race at work charter.’

Last modified on Monday, 21 October 2019 10:40