Labour shadow ministers joined Dawn Butler in Brent recently to relaunch a policy that will improve the lives of black and minority ethnic (BAME) residents.
The new Compulsory Jobs Guarantee scheme will tackle the 49 per cent increase in unemployment among BAME young people aged 18-24, as revealed recently by the Office of National Statistics.
Sadiq Khan MP (shadow justice secretary and London minister), Rachel Reeves MP (shadow work and pensions secretary) and Gloria De Piero MP (shadow equalities minister) joined Dawn at the Roundwood Youth Centre in Longstone Avenue, Harlesden.
All four took part in round table discussions with pupils from Newman Catholic College in Harlesden Road about the key obstacles in their lives and what Labour can do to help the young.
Labour have relaunched the BAME manifesto – first rolled out in 2010 – to fight racial prejudice. It also promises to guarantee young people aged 18 to 24, who have been looking for work for more than a year, a six month 25 hour per week paid starter job.
Rachel Reeves said: “We need to ensure young people are given a chance. There is so much talent and potential out there and we are not going to succeed as a country unless everyone succeeds.”
Under Labour, businesses would be commissioned to provide work which will be paid for through taxation on bankers’ bonuses and restricting wealthy pensioners’ tax relief.
Sadiq Khan said he hoped the BAME manifesto would address important racial policies, adding: “We need policies to address the fact that young black men are stop and search targets, that the judiciary is still not diverse enough, that there are too few black and Asian faces in board rooms and in Parliament.”
Dawn Butler added: “The rise in BAME unemployment hasn’t been helped by the current government’s Work Programme, which is too centrally focused. The cuts have also disproportionally affected poorer communities such as ours.”
She continued: “One of the greatest assets Brent possesses is its diversity, and it’s something I am incredibly proud of. However, too many young black and ethnic minority men and women that I speak to are suffering prejudice as a result of this diversity, and the current government is not doing enough to combat it.”