New centre launches to help East London’s BME students prepare for business careers

The University of East London (UEL) has launched a new initiative to help better prepare its black and minority ethnic (BME) students for a successful career in the world of business.

Funded by the Noon Foundation, The Noon Centre for Equality and Diversity in Business was officially opened this week at UEL’s Royal Docks Business School by Baron Gulam Noon – the Foundation’s Chairman, entrepreneur and successful businessman.

Given the fiercely competitive nature of London’s business sector, major employers are now placing huge demands on graduates to not only sell their academic ability; but also their ability to present and network effectively.

While this is a tough proposition for most, anecdotal evidence suggests that BME students often find this the most challenging and daunting part of the modern day workplace. Currently, one in four young people in London are unemployed and one in two black and Pakistani young people are jobless.

As a university with over 28,000 students from more than 120 countries worldwide, the Noon Centre will empower and teach its BME students to deal with tough interview panels; deliver professional presentations and network confidently in a business environment.

The centre will also carry out research within the sector looking at the issue of workplace equality, and why it makes good business sense for employers to adopt a diverse workforce.

Speaking at the launch earlier this week, Baron Gulam Noon, said: “When we were approached by UEL about this idea, it only took five minutes to reach a decision. It is great to see the enthusiasm of staff and students at this launch, and I am so glad this day has finally arrived.

“If this centre can help 100 students before they go out into the workplace, then I will be content we have done our job.”

Jasir Ali, who is a second year student studying International Business, said: “I believe that the Noon Centre is a brilliant project for UEL as it will help BME students improve their chances of getting a job after they graduate.

“Furthermore, it will also help students learn how to network more effectively in a way which works around their culture.”

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