Ending Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Economic Inequality Forum

During 2009/10 a Skills, Employment and Enterprise Regional BME Task Force had been established to coordinate the work but it was agreed to re-name this the BME Forum for 2010/11.


BME Forum Terms of Reference

To provide a Forum for Partnership Working between key regional and local service delivery agencies/local authorities in skills, employment and enterprise to address national policy issues/activity within the region and to advocate for and influence policy makers and service providers. In particular to identify ways of addressing discrimination, tailoring services and increasing engagement with BME communities and to share good (and bad) practice and disseminate good practice for the benefit of others.

The BME Forum meets quarterly and is regularly attended by 12-15 members from across the region. Key issues addressed this year have been the Regional Skills Priority Statement for consultation, a review of the Enterprise Action Plan the planning of the Ending BME Economic Inequality Conference held in March and, since the election, discussing the impact of the Coalition Governments policies on the work and  in particular on individual members of the Forum,. For more information visit "The Future".

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Minutes of BME Forum

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Ending BME Economic Inequality Conference (11th March 2010)

MENTER was very grateful to the East of England Skills and Competitiveness Partnership (EESCP) for both sponsoring the conference and for providing the administrative support for the Conference. Speakers included Sandra Kerr, Chief Executive of Race for Opportunity, Glenn Athey, Director of Insight East and Tina Ellis, Director of EESCP. Stars of the show proved to be two young apprentices and a young entrepreneur who described their ‘customer journey’, highlighting some of the barriers and issues affecting their career choices and how they overcame these. The afternoon session comprised a series of workshops.

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Regional Skills Priority Statement

It had been hoped to  prepare a Forum response to the BIS ‘Skills for Sustainable Growth Consultation’ but regrettably this has not been possible due to other commitments. 

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Enterprise Sub-Group

The Forum has been most effective in developing activity around enterprise support for BME people. In 2009, the Head of Policy and Enterprise was invited to join the Regional ‘Business Support Strategy Refresh Steering Group' and was able to influence the development of the strategy to better reflect the needs of BME communities.

  • The Strategy has not been published but there is a final draft


The Sub-Group also developed an Enterprise Action Plan but given the significant changes planned by the coalition government and continuing uncertainty about the future of business support it was agreed at the August meeting that the plan be completely revised to reflect the changed environment.

On 28th October 2010 the Government published the new White Paper “Local Growth: Realising every place’s potential” and this will inform the development of the new plan. For more information, see the section in Ending BME Economic Inequality News.

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100204_Task_Force_Minutes.pdf67.2 KB
100603_BME_Forum_Minutes.pdf70.11 KB
100408_BME_Forum_Minutes.pdf47.16 KB
100902_BME_Forum_Minutes.pdf72.02 KB
Conference_report.pdf462.8 KB
East_of_England_Skills_Priorities_Statement_2011_12.pdf242.12 KB
EEDA_Business_Support_Strategy_October_2009_0.pdf556.57 KB
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