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Beyond Face Value

Partnership information


Asian sewing ladyBackground

There is a need to address issues of diversity in the workplace at a local level to overcome barriers that prevent Minority and Ethnic Communities (MECs) from gaining employment. Lancashire has a high proportion of MECs, predominently of Asian heritage, and local research indicates that some employer practices create barriers to their employment. These include lack of awareness of the cultural and religious needs of MECs, lack of awareness of how institutional racism excludes and disempowers MECs, lack of training in issues relating to diversity and equality, and ineffective minority recruitment practices.

Lancashire Learning and Skills Council statistics show that two in three MECs are not qualified beyond NVQ Level 1. Other reports indicate that 48% of private employers do not employ anyone from the MECs. Beyond Face Value's action research project has also identified that, of the MECs in Lancashire, the under-representation of women is even greater than that of men.


Beyond Face Value is a multi-agency project that aims to tackle inequality and disadvantage in the labour market faced by men and women from minority ethnic communities in Lancashire. The project has a two-pronged approach: helping people into employment and working with employers.

  • Recruit 'hard to reach' MEC beneficiaries who have limited or no contact with formal learning providers to give them access to accredited education and training (e.g. NVQ Levels 2 and 3)
  • Provide counselling, information and guidance to help overcome barriers preventing MECs from accessing training and employment
  • Provide a rolling programme of monthly advice and hands-on information seminars where beneficiaries learn about working in specific occupations within the public service and fields of work in the commercial sector
  • Create job shadowing and work placement opportunities with DP member organisations 
  • Deliver a range of services for employers and individuals to promote equality and diversity and to break down barriers within organisations that prevent MECs from gaining employment.


  • Information and advice service for ethnic minority men and women to help them access training and employment
  • Vocational training courses for ethnic minority men and women
  • Seminars to help ethnic minority men and women find work in particular fields of employment
  • Equality and diversity audits for employers
  • Equality and diversity workshops for employers
  • Roadshows on the benefits of diversity in the workplace
  • Community arts projects to celebrate diversity in the workplace.

Target Groups

BME groups, in particular the Pakistani community




Round 1 to Round 2

This Development Partnership was not involved in Round One.

Transnational partnerships


Koku Adomdza, Business and Community Enterprise Unit, St Martin's College,


Action 2: 31 May 2007
Action 3: 7 September 2007

Equal theme

Ethnic minorities


The Business and Community Enterprise Unit (the lead partner) is a centre within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at St Martin’s College dedicated to academic enterprise. Its remit is to manage projects and deliver programmes designed to increase economic stability and academic enterprise, promoting activities in which universities and colleges actively engage with local businesses and in the community. Local organisations with specific experience have been included as partners, for example: the Youth Service’s expertise in outreach work has enabled consultation with and recruiting of beneficiaries; the expertise of the Police Service in auditing equality and diversity has informed the Equal Opportunities planning; and the Local Authorities provide important case studies.


BME groups, Lone parents and people with care responsibilities, People from disadvantaged areas (top 10% most deprived wards)
Total beneficiaries: 160

Intended impact/ sustainability

The long-term impact of improving the employment and employability of MECs will be achieved by sharing the learning on inequalities and disadvantages experienced by MECs in training and employment and the approaches needed to combat them. This will be realised through numerous routes, examples of which are: local MEC groups/networks working more effectively with other local organisations involved in training and employment support; employers helping them meet the needs of MECs learners and employees; FE colleges and other training providers more fully engaging MEC learners and ensuring that the ‘total learning environment’ (facilities, systems, policies, practices, etc.) meets the needs of MEC learners; employers/HR departments developing the 'business case' for a diverse workforce, better defining how to recruit MEC staff and ensuring that the ‘total work environment’ meets the needs of MEC staff.

Scatter plot

Process X
Practice X
City Local Regional National European


Working with FE colleges and other providers in the county of Lancashire.


Establishing networks with local MEC organisations.

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Activities and products