The weather was great in Bermondsey and truly befitting for an event that some have said, was not before its time. The official launch of the Workforce Integration Network otherwise known as ‘WIN’ took place on 9 May 2018 at the Tideway Visitor Centre and was administered as a joint collaboration between Phyllis Abebreseh of the Social Integration Team at the Greater London Authority [GLA], Trust for London [principal funders of the Moving On Up initiative] and BTEG, led by Jeremy Crook OBE.
The keynote delivered by London Mayor, Sadiq Khan was truly reflective of the sentiment and life experiences of many of the young black men [YBM] in attendance.
Phase 2 of Moving On Up [MoU] an award winning, pan-London initiative with the sole objective of creating ‘sustainable’ employment opportunities for YBM, is specifically targeting the construction and digital sectors. The wider objective of MoU Phase 2 is employer engagement and strategic campaigning focussed on recruiting YBM, work placements & mentoring and the creation of a network of “peer ambassador” role models. With notable successes achieved in Phase 1, the Mayor’s Office at City Hall have committed to supporting the MoU Advisory Board, chaired by Urbanis Founder & Executive Director, Bola Abisogun FRICS, Founder and Chair of DiverseCity Surveyors [DCS], the first BAME Network for Surveyors, supported by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors [RICS].
Matthew Ryder QC, Deputy Mayor, Social Integration, Social Mobility, Community Engagement moderated a panel discussion which included, Bola Abisogun FRICS, Moving On Up / DCS, Sioned Churchill, Trust for London and members of Tideway, including Basil Nkomo a recent non-cognate with a background in healthcare who had successfully transitioned into the construction sector [digital skills].
Mayor Khan, went onto affirm ”young black men face some of the highest unemployment rates in London. Today, we’re proud to launch the Workforce Integration Network [WIN] to help tackle the systemic bias which means too many talented young black men miss out on opportunities in our city”.
The event was also covered by the VOICE, the largest British national Afro-Caribbean weekly newspaper, operating in the UK; their coverage can be observed here. You can read more about the ‘WIN’ by clicking here and the Moving on Up initiative can also be seen here