Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people in apprenticeships

The Business Case

Between 2002/03 and 2015/16, apprenticeship starts more than tripled, from 168,000 to 509,000. In 2015/16, White people were disproportionately more likely to take up apprenticeships (88% of apprenticeships compared with 85% of the population), whereas ethnic minorities were disproportionately less likely to do so (10% compared to 15% in the population in England)1.

In 2016, the youth unemployment rate for white people aged 16 – 24 years old was around half that of most of the other ethnic groups i.e., 12% of young white people were unemployed compared to with 23% of young people in other ethnic groups.2

Despite high application rates among BAME applicants, this is not reflected in the number of BAME apprentices; 28% of applicants are from a BAME background, yet only 10% of those start apprenticeships.  


Key Recommendations

Blue tick and the letter R Race in the Workplace Recommendations;

Recommendations 11, 12 and 13 ask employers to reject non-diverse lists, challenge school and university selection bias and use relevant and appropriate language in in job specifications. 

Recommendations 17 and 18 ask employers to seek out and offer work experiences to a more diverse group of individuals and to ensure, for new entrants, that there is transparency on career pathways.  


Trends from the Best Employers for Race 2017

As part of their outreach activities, 74% of employers who are in the list held pre-application workshops and/or other events that included potential candidates from BAME backgrounds.

Most of the employers in the 2017 list are monitoring the different stages of the recruitment process by ethnicity to ensure there was a diverse cohort of candidates: 
 57% monitored outreach, 85% the application, 80% the shortlists, 85% the interview stage, 80% the assessment and 83% monitored the selection stage.

92% of the organisation's listed share feedback with those young people who have not been successful in their application.


Strategic Action on Apprenticeships

In July 2017, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships set out the plan for action in their Annual report for 2016/17.  A key recommendation of the report is that more should be done to encourage those in underrepresented sectors to take on an apprentice, particularly women, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and BAME and disabled people. The report also recommends that all initiatives should include mentoring for apprentices.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency is committed to ensuring that Apprenticeships are real jobs and have produced written guidance for employers.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency has also provided a resource for schools on delivering information on apprenticeships.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency has established the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network (ACDN)  to promote good practice in the recruitment of apprentices. 
ADCM members will visit 600+ schools this year,  largely targeting pupils from underrepresented groups and run 180+ events and campaigns. 400+ Partner organisations are helping to deliver greater apprenticeship diversity.  30%+ BAME apprentice levels are being achieved by some ADCN members.
Find out more about the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network and download the communication toolkit and membership form >>

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Barclays / Apprenticeship: BAME recruitment​
43% of apprentices from BAME background. 20% of higher apprentices (linked to degree-level education) from BAME background. ​56% of those joining Traineeship Programme are from a BAME background.

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Capgemini / Active inclusion
Increased BAME graduate and apprentice hire from 30% to 36% in 2016  Increased reach to schools from 40 to 50 schools in 2016, averaging 5,800 student interactions annually

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Creeate Careers
Where information is scarce, hope finds it hard to exist.

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Optimity / Homegrown talent (2017) 
60% of apprentice cohort is BAME representing 15% of total workforce.  Winner of The Mayor’s Fund for London Apprentice of the Year Award 2015 

It is great that Optimity an SME Tech company were Highly Commended for the Business in the Community Race Equality Recruitment Awards 2017 for their good practice on Apprenticeships. A report issued by the Learning and Work Institute in 2015 highlighted that applications from BAME people for an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Apprenticeship stood at 31.6%, yet only 3.7% of the applications were successful).
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