Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students and graduates employment guide
In this employment guide we've provided advice on finding opportunities, organisations and networks that support our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students and graduates.
We recognise and share the concerns held by staff and students about the use of the term BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic). We agree with Advance HE that while this definition is widely recognised and used to identify patterns of marginalisation and segregation caused by attitudes toward an individual’s ethnicity, there are significant limitations, particularly the potential for assumptions that minority ethnic staff and students are a homogenous group.
Employers’ attitudes and commitment to having a diverse workforce have improved over the last few years. The following advice and links will provide a starting point for your career research and you can also arrange to speak to our team for further support.
- Target Jobs run their Aspire event twice annually where students of black heritage can meet with employers, attend workshops and build networks
- The Civil Service Fast Stream offers a Summer Diversity Internship Programme, which is open to students in their penultimate or final year.
- The House of Commons run a BAME internship programme across a range of different opportunities.
- The Guardian run a Positive Action Scheme to support better representation for individuals interested in getting into a career in journalism.
- Ethnic Jobsite gives recruiters a platform to link employers and candidates in the UK
What to look for when researching employersDo some research about companies that interest you, look at their commitment to diversity and inclusion in their workforce. Employers may also provide case studies and talk about initiatives they've put in place to support and encourage applicants. Our guide to researching an employer will help you get started.
What do you need to tell a potential employer
The key to self-marketing is the same regardless of your ethnic background. You need to demonstrate your range of skills, qualifications and experience to their maximum potential.
It’s helpful to think of the assets you can bring to an organisation; for instance your ability to relate well to a range of individuals from multicultural backgrounds and perhaps some additional language skills.
You're not required by law to disclose your ethnic background either at application or interview stages and so it remains a personal choice. Some students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds can be concerned about how to market their skills so that they’re viewed without discrimination.
It's crucial to remember that any experience, including involvement with cultural societies or religious activities, can be presented in a positive way by highlighting the skills that were involved, for instance leadership and organisation.
It’s also important not to underestimate the value employers place upon transferable skills gained through extracurricular activities and/or voluntary work.
Support organisations and networks
- The University of Portsmouth Students’ Union delivers support, activities and campaigns throughout the year to promote and support equality and diversity. They've launched a range of student networks to create communities in previously underrepresented areas of the student population, including the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Network. The aim of the Network is to enhance diversity on campus, improve student participation and to drive student campaigns.
- Sources of specific vacancies include Ethnic Jobsite and the Adab Trust, which offer training opportunities, job hunting advice and more.
- The organisation Business in the Community also runs a campaign called Race for Opportunity in which their employer members are encouraged to work towards a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
- Creative Access support under-represented groups to break into the creative industries.
- SEO London support ethnic minority students into securing professional opportunities after graduation.
- Rare Recruitment specialise in recruiting diverse graduates into professional level roles.
- Future Leaders run workshops and conferences for diverse students on a variety of themes.