Talent Match Staffordshire’s 5th Birthday Celebration

Talent Match Staffordshire celebrated its 5 year success story by holding a 5th Birthday celebration event on March 1st 2019. The event was an opportunity to meet the Charity’s beneficiaries, who have been long term NEET (not in employment, education or training) and have gone on to achieve paid employment, and a range of other fantastic achievements, often against all odds!

Talent Match Staffordshire offers a free service that supports young people, aged 18-24 in the Lichfield and Cannock districts, who have been out of employment, education and training for 12 months or more. The fifth year Birthday event celebrated a huge milestone for the service, celebrating the service’s considerable success in working with those who are furthest from the workplace.

Talent Match Staffordshire started as a National Lottery Funded project complete with a £1.6 million pound investment. The event saw Talent Match Staffordshire thank the National Lottery Fund for helping them to invest in local young people.

Talent Match Staffordshire has now engaged with almost 300 beneficiaries across the County, and has helped 87 of these young people to secure employment. A further 124 beneficiaries have been supported into volunteering roles and another 26 young people have gone into work placements. Talent Match Staffordshire’s outcomes go far beyond simply boosting a beneficiary’s employability, the programme takes a holistic approach to supporting its beneficiaries, helping them to gain greater confidence, self-belief, self-worth and improved mental and physical wellbeing.

The effects of the Talent Match Staffordshire programme are wide ranging too as they contribute to a saving for the tax payer, promote good practice with employers and help to lower not only the official rate of unemployment, but also the potential for under-reported hidden NEETs.

Hidden NEET’s are the hardest to reach young people who are NEET and also not in receipt of benefits, for reasons such as homelessness. The ultimate outcome for Talent Match Staffordshire’s beneficiaries is the feeling of meaningful fulfilling employment, a theme that many of Talent Match Staffordshire’s beneficiaries attested to on the day of the event.

Following speeches from Councillor David Leytham, Mayor of Lichfield, and Matthew Ellis, the Conservative Staffordshire Commissioner Police Fire and Crime. Talent Match Staffordshire’s 5th Birthday Celebration saw the outlining of its future aspiration to work with every single care-leaver across the County.

Care leavers represent those young people who have spent time in foster or residential care, or in other arrangements outside of their immediate or extended family before the age of 18. Care leavers can be particularly at risk of becoming NEET as they can sometimes lack the transitional support needed upon graduating from the care system to an independent adult life. Talent Match Staffordshire’s “test and learn” programme has identified the need for this type of support and the Talent Match Staffordshire CEO, Amanda Bailey, hopes to be the pioneer providing this added value service across the County.

For further information contact Richard Barber, Project Officer richardbarber@talentmatchstaffs.

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