Talent Spotting Podcast by Safaraz Ali –
HAVING a diverse workforce is not only a good thing but also improves performance according to reports prepared by Government.
Often associated with ethnicity and race, diversity covers many other issues including, age, gender, disability, and sexual orientation.
Lecturers in Further education can have a big influence on the careers that young people decide to follow.
Therefore, Safaraz as founder of the Asian Apprenticeship Awards, now rebranded as the BAME (Black, Asian Minority Ethnic) Apprenticeship Awards and BAME Apprentice Network wants educators and business to step up to the plate, especially when it comes to promoting apprenticeships amongst minority communities.
There is a long-standing view amongst Asians that apprenticeships are second best to a university education, hence young people of Asian heritage do not tend to consider apprenticeships, and so this sector is underrepresented amongst Asians and also other minorities.
The awards showcase the achievements of apprentices, employers, and training providers.
In the podcast Safaraz draws a distinction between the use of quotas and targets when it comes to employment. He is against quotas but believes that targets can be justified and tries to explain the difference.
The discussion considers the relative failure of the UK in promoting apprenticeships compared with Germany, where 60 per cent of young people go into a place on a vocational training programme, very similar to an apprenticeship in the UK.
Safaraz says that it is important that businesses and organisations recognise that a commitment to diversity and inclusion is not just ‘a good thing’ but enhances performance.
He explains that he has never been aware of being a victim of discrimination and has never ‘seen himself as a victim.’
His work as a trainer and educator has helped tens of thousands of young people, many from a disadvantaged background, to get into rewarding and sustainable jobs.