Talent Match – Youth Unemployment

Talent Match Birmingham & Solihull was a partnership between BVSC and Colebridge Trust (previously known as Solihull Sustain).  The National Lottery Community Fund (formerly Big Lottery Fund) programme was launched in 2012 to help young people who faced “barriers”, which were sometimes multi-faceted and deep-rooted.

In 2019 the partnership released  its final report, a legacy of the five-year programme which helped young people furthest from the jobs market to find and sustain work. Open Minds: The Birmingham & Solihull Talent Match Legacy

The report summarises the impact the programme had on hundreds of the city’s young people, and provides an insight into developing an ‘open minds’ legacy for employers.

In total, Talent Match Birmingham & Solihull supported:

  • 833 18-24 year olds who had been out of education, employment or training,
  • 262 secured employment, and
  • 122 sustained employment for 6 months or more

A Social Return on Investment analysis demonstrated that £3 social value was generated for every £1 invested.

The report was released at a special breakfast event held on Friday 22 March at the ICC, Birmingham. Around 90 delegates heard from a range of speakers – programme managers, employers and young people – who reflected on the achievements of the Talent Match programme and urged employers to open their minds to employing young people from this cohort to discover the talents they have. The event concluded with a lively panel debate hosted by Marc Reeves, Editor in Chief, Midlands Reach plc.

One of the key note speakers was West Midlands Mayor Andy Street who acknowledged in his address that unemployment amongst young people remained one of the biggest challenges for the city. He went on to outline some of the ways that the West Midlands Combined Authority was supporting young people, through apprenticeships and mentoring schemes, by improvements in transport infrastructure and investments in technological innovation.

In the report’s introduction BVSC CEO Brian Carr states “As the Talent Match programme concluded its delivery in 2018, we focused on building a legacy: taking forward our learning and shared experiences, with the young people we have supported and the delivery we have provided to many local businesses. We believe that to bring lasting change to Birmingham and Solihull’s young people we need to have Open Minds; recognising the challenges both young people face in finding sustainable work and the business community faces in recruiting a talented workforce.

“Our experience with Talent Match has demonstrated that we can help connect young people and businesses together by being responsive to individual needs and offering a high value, professional, service to employers. Looking ahead we aim to share our experience and to continue to listen to young people; working with them to provide more opportunities to train and find work. We believe we can also build an ambitious partnership with local employers, working together to help more young people into local jobs and more local businesses involved in supporting the young people living across their local communities in Birmingham and Solihull.


Talent Match Report

Text above courtesy of BVSC, as originally cited on their website.