Shakespeare Martineau backs new Muslim youth mentoring scheme

updated on 16 May 2022

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Birmingham law firm Shakespeare Martineau LLP is supporting British Muslim charity Mercy Mission UK to launch a mentoring scheme, offering work experience placements to Muslim youth.

The Muslim Youth Connected Future Programme, which is championed by the firm and designed to address the long-term inequities that Muslim candidates face, will see 100 local businesses across Birmingham take part. The scheme has been co-created by young people and local businesses to ensure that “Muslim youth in Britain can fulfil their true potential”, according to local civil society leader Jehangir Malik OBE, from Mercy Mission UK.

CEO of Mercy Mission UK Azim Kidwai wants business leaders to learn more about the youth empowerment programme and take action to improve the opportunities offered to these young people, supporting them to build up their confidence and resilience.

Mohammed Saqub, partner at Shakespeare Martineau and head of Islamic finance, said: “It’s estimated that 17% of UK prisoners are Muslim, despite Muslims making up just over four per cent of the UK population.

“A core challenge is that there is an issue with young people heading for a life of crime, as they see little alternative in their future or simply not fulfilling their true potential. Increased mentoring – especially from people who speak and look just like them and share the same cultural heritage – could make all the difference in the path a person chooses to follow.

“When I was at school in the centre of Birmingham, I was influenced by a lawyer who came into our school to talk about what he did. Without him, I’m not sure whether I would have chosen this path – his mentoring opened-up possible options for a career and I am passionate about doing the same for others.”