Young people and youth organisations consistently tell us that employment and job prospects are among the biggest concerns that young people have about their lives. In London the situation is particularly challenging.
Even though there are potentially many more opportunities in London than in other parts of the country, the variety of programmes and players are not well co-ordinated and young people who are out of work – particularly those facing the biggest barriers – find the system very hard to navigate.
In 2014, we launched our employability offer, Talent Match London, to young people aged 18-24. Followed in 2017 with the launch of our Talent Match Croydon programme.
Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, London Youth is leading a partnership of organisations testing innovative youth-led solutions to unemployment and supporting young people who have been out of education, employment and training for at least 12 months, into sustainable employment.
Through a distinctive ‘youth work’ approach to employability, Talent Match London aims not only to get young people into jobs but also to equip them with the skills, capabilities and desire to navigate a fulfilling career pathway. Talent Match London is focused on the long-term, equipping young people with tools for life.
There are three elements that make our approach successful:
Outreach: Talent Match London uses creative ways to engage young people disengaged from existing provision. The programme works within communities and localised networks to reach out to those who may not proactively access support.
Youth Centred Approach: Talent Match London empowers and supports young people to carve out their own career plan. Each young person has a designated worker, who provides them with tailored support to meet their needs and aspirations.
Employer Engagement: Talent Match London works with employers to give young people insight into the world of work. Beyond creating specific job opportunities, this is about helping young people become job ready, and helping employers to be better able to support and sustain them in jobs.