The New Year is looking a lot brighter for young jobseekers in Herefordshire and Telford as the Big Lottery Fund today (Wednesday) announces the area is to receive £1.8m from Talent Match, its £100m youth unemployment initiative.
The news comes as the latest ONS job figures are released today.
The Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of good cause money from the National Lottery, launched Talent Match, a scheme designed by young people for young people, with the aim of helping those aged 18-24 who are struggling the most to find career opportunities. Now the Fund has awarded hvoss (Herefordshire Voluntary Organisations Support Service) £1,816,501 to run the local Talent Match partnership, helping local young people who have been unemployed or out of education for at least 12 months.
The partnership will operate in the Borough of Telford where rates of youth unemployment have reached over 30% (as at June 2013) - this is above the national average of around 20% and the rate for the West Midlands region of just over 24%. The partnership will also support young people across Herefordshire which has also seen a significant increase in youth unemployment in recent years.
Talent Match projects are led by a cross-sector partnership with a key focus on employers, particularly from the private sector, to ensure that it meets local needs and young people are given opportunities get the skills to find employment.
hvoss will now use the money to work up local solutions to a nationwide problem that threatens serious consequences for an entire generation of young people and the wider economy. The ACEVO Commission on Youth Unemployment has estimated that the issue will cost £28billion over the next decade..
Nat Sloane, England Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, said ‘Youth unemployment is an issue that threatens the hopes of an entire generation as well as our whole economic wellbeing. Talent Match promises to help the very hardest to reach young people to make the most of their skills and ambitions, not just as an end goal, but by giving them a say in how the programme itself is designed and put into practice.
‘The funding announced today is a key step on a very exciting journey as it means the real work can now begin. By bringing together the private sector and the knowledge of key charities, Talent Match will help ensure today’s young people have the maximum help and support they need to find a fulfilling and rewarding career.’
Will Lindesay, Chief Executive of hvoss, said:‘This has been a great opportunity to work with the Big Lottery Fund, Young People and Partners from Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire. We have created a programme that will give opportunities and support to Young People to take their talent into the workplace.’
Jim Collins, Assistant Director, Education and Skills Telford and Wrekin Council, said: ‘Tackling youth unemployment, which reached a figure of 29.8% in December 2012, is a key priority for Telford and Wrekin Council. We welcome the delivery of an innovative and creative programme, which supports young people into employment, and look forward to working with the Talent Match project.’
Talent Match is targeting young people who are furthest from the jobs market, including those who are completely outside of the benefits, work and training system and facing severe barriers to gaining the skills they need to get into work.
Talent Match will boost opportunities for young people in these areas by bringing together partnerships of employers, education providers and others, led by local charities.
The investment was co-designed with young people, both centrally and in each of the 21 partnership areas, and will continue to have young people at the heart of decision making throughout the programme.
Read Scott's story below:
Scott, 22, Hereford, West Midlands
Scott has played a key role in developing and designing the Marches Project, arguing strongly for young people themselves to be given responsibility for the managing and delivery of the programme. Scott’s talent for influencing, advocacy and action was brought out by Close House Youth Project, Hereford where he led the Epic team of community volunteers. He has also become a managing director of their enterprise company.
After leaving school with a few GCSEs and BTECs Scott spent a couple of years on a construction course. He has also done bar work, security and some short term warehousing, but nothing permanent so far. Scott says: "How do you get a job if you have no work experience and can’t get the experience because you can’t get a job? How do you break out of the downward spiral? Where do you get help to start climbing back up the ladder? Talent Match will help provide an answer to these problems and working on the project has meant a lot to me. It’s been made by young people for young people and it’s going to make a big difference to the young people of Telford and Herefordshire.”
Links to more information below:
More info at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/talentmatch
An £108 million investment to tackle youth unemployment in 21 areas of England - Talent Match, 21 stories, 21 young faces, 21 areas, go to http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/prog_talent_match