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50 BUSINESS IN THE COMMUNITY MERLIN Setting the right T he BT Ethnic Minority Network (BMN) has recently kicked off a major Business in the Community programme aimed at helping schoolchildren from Black, Asian and Minorities Ethnic (BAME) background to get a foot on the first rung of the career ladder in the City of London. The programme is called MERLIN – Minority Ethnic Role–models for Learning and INspiration – and has been designed to encourage BAME professionals in the City to provide inspiration and examples to young pupils from ethnic backgrounds as to how they can succeed in the City. The EMN’s MERLIN Working in the City workshop took place on November 17 and was aimed at Year 9 to 11 students (age 14 to 16 years old). It was staged at BT Centre and was produced by the partnership of MERLIN and The Brokerage Citylink, a charity based in the City of London that helps young people from schools in inner–London boroughs understand the City and example MERLIN inspires school children to help realise their goals what its employers look for in potential employees. EMN Chairperson Malcolm Weston said: “O ur BT EMN workshop was set within the context of MERLIN’s principles of raising the achievements and aspirations of black and minority ethnic young people through engagement with business professionals from similar backgrounds. “Our aim was to help them understand the City of London, to appreciate what employers look for in potential employees in terms of skills and qualities and then how to make effective job applications. “We had 30 pupils at the BT EMN workshop aged between 14 and 15 – some of whom had never visited the City before – from secondary schools across Greater London covering boroughs as diverse as Brent, Harrow, Lewisham, Islington, Lambeth, Newham and Hackney. “And not only did they seem to enjoy it and benefit from it, but so did our members who gave up their time to come along and talk to them about their experiences and what inspired them to apply for the posts they now occupy,” he added. Comments from the students at the end of the day indicated that the workshop had succeeded in going deeper than just providing facts and figures about careers in the City. engage | uk ISSUE THREE 2007