Valerie meets with Black Country Talent Match in Westminster

I was pleased to meet Black Country Talent Match in Parliament on Wednesday 6 September 2017 and speak with its project leaders, Project Manager Kim Babb, and Business Engagement Adviser Emma Trump.

Talent Match is a national test and learn programme with a focus on how to understand what works in helping young people who are unemployed. The project has five hubs across the Black Country and mentors across the region working with young people who are furthest away from being work ready to improve their confidence, motivation and optimism to enable them to access quality local employment and training opportunities.

The average Black Country resident earns significantly less than the national average, and there is high level of unemployment in the area, reducing opportunity for residents. Although national unemployment rates have been falling, high levels among young people in the Black Country are still present. Walsall was ranked 4th in the Office for National Statistics official study of March 2016 into housing and property; which published figures for the country’s 10 ‘most deprived towns’.

Talent Match is carrying out fantastic work by supporting those aged 18-29 who have been out of work, training or education for over six months, and who require additional support to overcome barriers to employment. Over 13, 000 young people have engaged with the programme and over 2, 100 of theses have secured employment.

Since launching in October 2014, Black Country Talent Match has reached over 500 young disadvantaged people, all of whom are supported by their team of mentors. It is making a real difference to young people’s lives in Walsall. Through Talent Match, one young person was referred to Walsall Adult Continuity to be assessed for learning needs which allowed her to find appropriate course for her learning requirements.

For further information, visit the Black Country Talent Match website here: