A group of 50 interns will be recruited to take part in the Scottish Government funded initiative
Voluntary sector organisations are being invited to help young people from minority ethnic backgrounds to take their first steps towards becoming leaders.
The Minority Ethnic Emerging Leaders Programme will see up to 50 people benefit from a nine month professional and personal development programme backed by mentoring, and internship placements across the public, third and private sectors.
Supported by Scottish Government funding, the programme will focus on minority ethnic young people (aged between 18-29) and will be delivered by the John Smith Centre.
And voluntary sector organisations are being invited to take part in the initiative.
The centre is looking for charities of all shapes and sizes to host interns, with recruitment of interns taking place later this summer. Placements are set to begin in the autumn.
Nosheen Ahmed, project coordinator of the Minority Ethnic Emerging Leaders Programme, said: “The programme is supported by the Scottish Government, and has been set up to give minority ethnic people, aged between 18 to 29, the chance to take part in a nine-month internship.
“We’re looking for public and voluntary sector organisations, NGOs and politicians to give the young people involved some exciting opportunities. It’s about developing their leadership skills, but is aimed at people that want to work in this arena and we are keen to offer a variety of roles.”
The programme can help organisations to give young people a start, but also offers them the chance to diversify their workforce.
Interns will work 15 hours a week, and it’s expected that they will work remotely – at least initially – due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Organisations need only provide IT equipment to the interns, and giving interns specific projects to work on will be encouraged.
Interns will receive: a Living Wage equivalent grant, an allocated mentor, access to networking and employability opportunities, and membership of the John Smith Centre Alumni Network.
Director of the John Smith Centre, Kezia Dugdale, said: “The John Smith Centre exists to break down the barriers disadvantaged groups face accessing public life. We listened carefully to the call for action emanating from the Black Lives Matter movement and reflected hard on what we could do that would make a meaningful difference.
“We have a strong track record in supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds develop the confidence, the networks and the experience they need to break through the challenges they face. We are therefore extremely proud to now be collaborating with the Scottish Government to increase the scale of this work with a particular focus on minority ethnic young people.
“At every stage of this programme we’ll listen to, learn from and involve people with lived experience of the barriers that minority ethnic communities face, and combine it with our experience of what makes a real difference and delivers long term change.”