Ambitious plan launches to tackle poverty and close the inequality ethnic gap in Bristol last week. The City of Bristol unveils an innovative and ambitious plan to tackle poverty and inequality in the city this week (23 November).
OurCity2030 aims to get young people from low-income households, starting from inner-city* Bristol, into median salary earning jobs by 2030. The aim is to close the inequality ethnic gap in Bristol and help families and individuals rise above the poverty line.
The median salary in the city in 2021 was estimated to be £27,200, compared with the UK average of £30,353 (source: ONS).
The plan was formally launched by Mayor Marvin Rees at a cross city event attended by over 400 people, hosted at University of Bristol’s Wills Memorial Building. OurCity2030 is being backed by a consortium of organisations across the city including youth empowerment organisation Babbasa which has spearheaded the plan alongside the City Office (Bristol City Council). The launch included an evidence-based film created by OurMedia showcasing three Babbasa trailblazers.
A major report benchmarking the size and scale of the inequality gap in the city and its link with poverty is being published as part of the lau
nch and will be used as the basis for developing evidence-based policies and interventions. The research report, by Bristol-based international design and engineering firm Arup, finds there “is an employment gap for both young and working-age ethnic minorities compared to their white peers”.
Leading the project, Poku Osei, CEO of Babbasa says: “Bristol is often seen as a progressive and creative city with a high standard of living and strong environmental credentials. However, this could not be further from the truth. For residents of Bristol’s inner city areas poverty and attainment levels are some of the worst in the UK.
“We are a city divided where the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ is in stark contrast to the public profile of the city. Sadly, if you are in an ethnic minority group in the city you are more likely to be unemployed or employed in a low-paying job than white people in Bristol. We think we can change this with OurCity2030 – the first initiative of its kind anywhere in the UK.”
The ethnic inequality gap in Bristol:
Over 60% of ethnic minorities in Bristol live in areas of economic disadvantage (Bristol City Council Ward Data, 2018).
The lack of role models, lack of diversity of ethnicity of senior staff, and curriculum delivery and design are some of the contributing factors to the ethnicity attainment gap.
Nationally Ethnic Minority groups see a larger pay gap develop as they progress their career seniority in later adulthood
48.1% of young people surveyed by Babbasa don’t know the skills they need to improve or develop for their career ambitions.
Around 80% of employers state “unconscious bias” as a barrier for Black and Minority Ethnic individuals to access jobs, alongside a “lack of social or professional networks” and “discrimination”. This matches roughly with Black and Minority ethnic individuals citing “lack of connections to the right people”, “discrimination”, and “lack of role models”.
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees adds: “The OurCity2030 vision and programme will serve as a key driver to achieving the goals of the One City Plan. A fairer future for young people in Bristol is key to future success as a city and I’m incredibly excited to see this blueprint launch. I look forward to Bristol further leading the way in driving equality as we move into 2023”.
*For the purposes of this study, Bristol inner-city is defined as the wards of Lawrence Hill, Easton and Ashley.