Education, Employment & Skills Event – 31-01-2018

This event was held in conjunction with Sunderland City Council on Wednesday 31st January, 2018 in CITY CAMPUS, SUNDERLAND COLLEGE and was specifically designed for members of the BME communities in the City of Sunderland.

In a safe, welcoming and informal setting at Sunderland College the participants had been invited through Sunderland BME Network Member organisations so everyone knew they could trust everyone there. This helped to dramatically reduce many barriers that BME community members feel they face when trying to access pathways to improving skills or gaining employment. Participants were able to see the incredible number of routes available to them via education, employment and ways to obtain skills.

Organisations present included:

  • Sunderland University
  • Sunderland College
  • N.E BIC
  • North East Ambulance Service
  • Tyne and Wear Care Alliance
  • Resources N.E
  • Job Centre Plus
  • National Careers Service
  • Geek Talent
  • Gentoo
  • Shine
  • Work Discovery Week


All of the above were in a Market place area which participants could browse through and chat with the staff present from those organisations.

The following organisations lead in a series of sector workshops where participants could hear about the sector, take part in activities and discuss training, careers and opportunities: 

  • Nissan – Manufacturing
  • City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust  – Health
  • Sunderland Software City – Digital
  • Barclays – Contact Centre

 Organisations such as Job Centre Plus and the National Careers service provided support around Pathways to employment. Those organisations leading on the Sector workshops are the main employers in Sunderland in that particular area and have links to other employers in the same sector.  They all talked about current and future opportunities within the sectors they specialise in.


The event was very kindly opened by Sunderland City Council Deputy council leader Harry Trueman and by Sunderland City Council Chief Executive Irene Lucas CBE.

The closing speech was given by Jessica May, Partnership Manager, Sunderland Partnership and K. Ramanathas (Ram), Chair of Sunderland BME Network.

Our sincere thanks to everyone that took part, especially Sunderland City Council for organising the event. We hope that everyone that took part took something away from this event and that it opened up new avenues for them to go forward.