A BAME Perspective
The BAME Apprenticeship Awards 2021 Apprentice Finalists have been released! Over 300 apprentices were nominated, and we are delighted to announce that Jamie has been shortlisted for the Media and Marketing Category and AE Aerospace has been shortlisted for Manufacturing Employer of the Year.
The BAME Apprenticeship Awards in partnership with Pearson, showcases the outstanding work and achievement of apprentices from black and minority ethnic groups (BAME) and inspires BAME apprentices to reach their full potential. The Awards is organised by The BAME Apprentice Network who aim to close diversity gap in apprenticeships by supporting apprentices and working with employers to make meaningful change.
We asked Jamie directly, to share her thoughts.
The apprenticeship route was not one that came to me naturally. It was a path that was stumbled upon after taking loads of left and right turns first. I was always pushed towards academia and was the first in my family to obtain a BSc Psychology degree. Whilst an experience I am grateful for, the 4-year course did not make the path I wanted to follow any clearer.
To give me time to consider my options, I decided to move to Shanghai for a year. This travel adventure consolidated that sharing and creating travel vlogs was what I enjoyed most! Upon returning to the UK, amidst a pandemic, the clarity in career was obvious: a role that fuelled my creative passion. Only, the skills, qualifications and most importantly, the opportunity to pursue that dream were missing.
In the last 10 months I have worked to grow the company’s brand and create a window into what we do at AE Aerospace. I have designed a new website, started a company newsletter, restarted our internal communications, made some TikTok’s and won us a few awards! This role has given me the chance to try new things, make mistakes and learn from them. I have been given the confidence to engage in projects I am passionate about, such as #Girltech.
Adding the BAME shortlist to my LinkedIn biography was a huge moment for me. Being BAME is and always has been part of my identity, but being an apprentice is too. I think now that realisation has occurred, I feel content within myself.
My name can sometimes be misleading and on multiple occasions it has been noted by my friends that I get more interview opportunities than them simply for being ‘Jamie Painter’. Whilst they do not get the same chances because of having an ethnic name. I struggled with this statement because it made me feel like my accolades and achievements were meaningless. But I struggle further with the idea that people are in fact rejected from job roles that they could be perfect for simply because of a name? I love what the BAME Network stands for, and I hope that this article brings issues like these to employers’ attention. I am lucky I work for a company where I am an equal, but I know this is not the case everywhere!
Being shortlisted represents me, Jamie, a graduate, an apprentice, a wanderer, but also, a BAME finalist who followed her passion despite societal pressures.
I hope someday we can get to a place where people are awarded for their achievements alone, and the need for BAME specific is unnecessary. We are not there yet, but I hope by sharing our stories, our concerns, working with companies to understand and close the gap, we are able to bring about the change.
To continue the change, we don’t need militants, to politicise or go on marches, it is hearts and minds of ordinary people that need to be won.