Ethnic Diversity – Our chat with Babbasa
During October, we ran our very first round of ‘career workshops’ here in the ADLIB office. We invited students from Babbasa; a youth empowerment group based in Bristol who support young people to follow their professional aspirations, regardless of their background, to take part in a career workshop of their choice; Technology, Creative or Marketing. Within the workshops, they were given first-hand mentoring, career advice and guidance from knowledgeable ADLIB recruitment consultants.
We caught up with some of the students that attended the workshops as well as Beaula McCalla, engagement manager at Babbasa, whose main aim is it to connect the students with career opportunities. We had a chat with them to get their take on career opportunities out there, how valuable career sessions of this kind are and we also asked what they’d like to see more of by way of support.
ADLIB: What is your take on career opportunities out there within the Creative, Marketing and Tech sectors for the young people you work with?
Beaula McCalla: Opportunities for BME (black and minority ethnicity) young people in Bristol and the South West is limited. Organisations are beginning to recognise that there is a lack of BME representation in their companies and offering placements, skills and experience.
Young people need to know what is out there for them, and they need to have the confidence to ask for what is needed and be able to professionally network. Organisations like Babbasa are there to provide a link with ambitious industries and young, determined people.
Organisations particularly in the tech world are not tapping into the expertise offered by BME young people due to a number of factors; largely, BME students are often not accessing further education – therefore the applicant pool is small.
“Since leaving school, I attend events and courses when I can, but only if they’re free. I make music but am finding it hard to get into that specific industry. I need to gather the right resources and put together a portfolio in order to show what I can do. It’s quite competitive and I didn’t go to college like other people, and I think this is a barrier for students like me.” – Amber, Babbasa Student
“I’m at university and I see that there are lots of marketing opportunities and gateways out there for me, and I have to make sure I grab them at every chance I get.” – Elysse, Babbasa Student
ADLIB: Did you find the ADLIB career sessions valuable? In what way do you think have they been useful?
Beaula McCalla: It was a rewarding experience for the young people to know exactly what is out there for them. It is important that they are exposed to organisation such as ADLIB, and more importantly that they feel they can be a part of it as well as get support and guidance.
A great outcome is that the young people who attended ADLIB’s career sessions have decided to meet up in a group to plan a project and discuss their individual needs in order to support each other.
“The consultants have provided valuable insight for people who might not otherwise know about these opportunities.” – Naz, Babbasa Student
“The session was useful. I learned new things like the importance of having a personal brand and identity right from the start.” – Elysse, Babbasa Student
ADLIB: What other initiatives do you think could be useful? What would you like to see more of by way of support for young people to get into careers within the Creative, Marketing and Tech sectors?
Beaula McCalla: It would be great to see regular spotlight sessions to give accurate and clear career guidance to young people in school and college.
Additionally, bespoke sessions to support young people with compiling their portfolios and CV’s. I feel that organisations need to feel more compelled to make effort to seek and support BME talent.
“Potentially mentoring from ADLIB, or maybe more personalised help?” – Liam, Babbasa Student
“I really valued the session as I was listened to. I would like to be able to have a mentor who could support me for through getting my enterprise off the ground whilst I am still at university.” – Elysse, Babbasa Student
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts!
The next round of career workshop sessions is coming up…
ADLIB Career Workshops are a part of our overarching mission: to enable the growth of individuals and businesses and to help them achieve their ambitions.
When: Wednesday 28th November from 4.00pm – 5.30pm
Where: ADLIB, 3rd Floor, St Bartholomew’s House, BS1 2NH
What/ Format: 4 one hour sessions will be running in parallel, each being able to accommodate up to 4 participants.
Who the workshops are for: The workshops are crafted for ‘entry-level’, young people wanting to work in the Creative or Marketing or Tech or Data industries (post 16- graduate) as well as people who want to transfer skills.
What the workshops will be about and include: Within 4 separate, sector specific workshops, one or a team of specialist Recruitment Consultants will be giving advice on career opportunities and avenues – with space to ask all the questions you have about the sector you are interested in. Our expert Consultants can also offer support and their expertise to adjust and tweak your CV or Portfolio if you’d like to bring them in.