APC Delighted to partner Black County Talent Match

A scheme to help support unemployed young people is expanding – taking on new staff because it is proving so successful in getting people into work and training.

Two years ago BCTG secured a slice of more than £10million Big Lottery Fund to deliver the Talent Match programme across Sandwell targeting out-of-work 18 to 24-year-olds.

Five new jobs were created to manage the programme in Sandwell aimed at young people who are furthest from the jobs market to secure or take up enterprising job opportunities.

Now the scheme is moving into additional office space at its base in The Hub, High Street, West Bromwich, and is boosting its staff to 12.

The scheme, based on mentoring, has so far helped almost 200 young people some of whom are now applying for university places, others have apprenticeships, full-time jobs or are volunteering.

Talent Match is a national programme which boosts opportunities for young people by getting employers, education providers and local charities to work together and help young people overcome problems like homelessness, mental health and confidence issues – all which affect their opportunities to find work.

Kelly Cranston, Talent Match senior mentor, said: “Talent Match is a five-year programme funded by the Big Lottery which focuses on youth unemployment. BCTG was selected to run the Sandwell Talent Match scheme. Other providers are running it in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Dudley. We are delighted that so many young people are being helped as a direct result of it and that we are able to expand our provision in Sandwell.”

Every young person who joins the project chooses a mentor who supports them to become work-ready, improve their confidence and motivation, access training opportunities, work experience and more.

Kelly added: “One of our young people who has been on the programme has been lined up for a job with Wolverhampton FC if he gets his sports masseuse qualification, another is on the path to becoming a primary school teacher and we’ve got a young woman mentee who is hoping to start a criminology degree at Coventry University. There are other young people for whom just attending here regularly and boosting their English and Maths is a positive achievement. We are very proud of them all.”

Darien Law, 20, from Tipton, said; “I started on the programme 18 months ago and it has helped me greatly. I had housing and finance problems, which were stopping me from studying. Talent Match and the team at Sandwell, where I was referred, have been brilliant and I am very grateful for all the help they’ve given me.”

The Black Country programme is managed overall by Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council and has secured support from the University of Wolverhampton, Sainsbury’s, Huf UK Ltd, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, Jhoots Pharmacy, ZF Lemforder UK and The Midcounties Co-operative.

Ark People & Communities are delighted to partner Talent Match Black Country contract to provide a Return on Investment assessment and project evaluation for the next 3 years.