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Monday, 13 May 2013

Could you be a mentor

Panorama (BBC)- on why young black men are unemployed at twice the national average.

So despite applying for jobs, sending out CVs, and having qualifications,the ONS stats highlighted in tonight's show, state that young black males are still less likely to be given a job than young white males.
The question is.. why?

One comment ( offered as a solution to counteract this discrimination) was that older black men who are successful, should actively volunteer or become a mentor, even if its to one youngster, as they are in a position to offer hands on experience, guidance and advice, which would be invaluable, given that these boys are not being offered a chance elsewhere.

How would that work on a practical level?.. well.. speak to a manager if needs be.. get the go ahead, or if you own your own business, simply decide to do it, research an organisation or two if you're unsure..but I suspect it wouldn't be too hard to find a mentee.

I know a few men that do this, but to be honest, they are mainly football ref's or local football coaches.
Black men who are relatively successful, or are earning very good wages in more specialized industries, be it law or banking for example..tend not to. I don't know why.

In truth, anyone can be a mentor, anyone can decide to give someone else a chance, a helping hand, share their knowledge and skills.. if they want to.

The sad thing is, that these young boys will grow to become men with little to offer a family if things don't change.. and you know what that means...

More often than not, the blame for this unfortunate state of affairs is placed on the youngsters.. assumptions are made about their conduct or appearance.. their focus or commitment.. anything...( in some cases that may be true - but not all) bottom line.. is the denial or reluctance to admit that the issue could be racism, or racial discrimination.
The youngsters don't want to think it either - and in truth - neither do I.

Some say okay - we know racism exists - we cant let that hold them back. Exactly.. we can't.

Older black men who are long term unemployed now,( 20yrs +) skills or no skills... were young once. Many (in that situation) have all but given up, after all...where do you go when hope becomes a luxury?
It's an old tale - yet a reoccurring one
Its not about victim-hood, but it is about doing something to change, balance, or counteract what's going on out there.

Something tells me they may be able to re-run that show again in 10 years time. Sol Campbell may look older presenting, but the statistics could pretty much be the same... hope not.

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