Niall Wynne reviews recent mentoring programme

June 2021:

WPR Director, Niall Wynne, recently undertook a role in the mentor programme, the Parity Project. This aims to improve the employability of young black men living in London.

Young black men have a higher unemployment rate than young men and young women from all other ethnic groups. At WPR, we are working with a number of clients who are taking steps to improve this, so see this as an active way where we can make a meaningful difference from a candidate's perspective. However, it is clear there is a long way to go.

The unemployment rate for young black men in London actively seeking work is 30%, more than double the rate for young white men (14%). The unemployment rate for young black men has remained persistently high, despite improvements in their educational attainment, which was a key reason to join the programme.

Niall was paired with a young, very motivated individual who was in the process of completing their studies, with a view to securing a permanent position in industry.

Speaking about the programme, Niall said "We agreed to speak on a weekly basis to update on progress and to plan steps accordingly. I was conscious to provide as much exposure and insight into what working in the corporate world is really like.

We openly discussed the career path on offer, the importance of an achievement-based CV and preparation towards interviewing in the corporate sector. I stressed the value of improving your network and how you can incorporate this in your day-to-day activities and ensure that the onus was on them to take the necessary steps. A lot of the advice offered was similar to how we speak to candidates in our current market and I felt important to share my experiences.

We are still in regular contact and this very quickly became the more enjoyable and rewarding part of the week. I would personally recommend all to join similar schemes."