A poll by the Equality Group consultancy found 55 per cent were told to be “more realistic” about their career aspirations.

And it found almost two thirds – or 3million employees – aspire to make it on to a company board – but only a tiny two per cent make it there.

Less than half are advised to start a career not relevant to their skills or interests and three quarters put their career success down to their own efforts and not guidance or academic help.

The report said there were now only 84 out of 1,048 ethnic minority directors in the UK’s biggest firms.

Hephzi Pemberton, founder of the Equality Group said: “This report makes it clear that ethnic minority students have strong support structures available to them throughout their educational careers but there seems to be a significant deficit upon entering the world of work.”

She added: “It is a shocking reality that in 2018, the workplace does not nurture and support BAME talent in a manner that reflects the undeniable aspirations prominent in this community.”

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