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YMCAfit launches BME programme

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YMCA Fitness Industry Training (YMCAfit) has been awarded almost £0.5m to launch a new scheme aimed at Black Minority Ethnic (BME) women.

The £471,000 investment from the European Social Fund (ESF) will finance a programme aimed at getting 200 BME women – defined as black or black British, Asian or Asian British, or mixed race – into employment in the health and fitness sector. The first course will run from 1 October 2006.

The disciplines on offer through the project will be gym instruction and aerobics instruction. Each beneficiary will be allocated a personal mentor to guide them through the various stages from enrolment on the course to finding employment.

Denise Page, YMCAfit curriculum director, said: “We are extremely excited about this project, as evidence suggests that representation of black women within the fitness industry is extremely low.” In spite of an open access policy for employment, only 7 per cent of Central YMCA’s health and fitness staff comes from BME groups. YMCAfit will work alongside a number of partners to ensure the success of the scheme, including SkillsActive UK, the FIA, Sporting Equals, and a number of local authorities and development trusts.

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YMCA Fitness Industry Training (YMCAfit) has been awarded almost £0.5m to launch a new scheme aimed at Black Minority Ethnic (BME) women.
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