Talent Match leaves a legacy for Birmingham & Solihull

More than five years ago BVSC together with Solihull Sustain and other local partners, developed a Talent Match programme for Birmingham and Solihull.

The programme, funded by Big Lottery (now the National Lottery Community Fund), was designed as a service aimed at tackling the high levels of unemployment and disadvantage experienced by many of our young people. As the Talent Match programme concluded its delivery in 2018, we focused on building a legacy: taking forward our learning and experiences and sharing this wisdom and knowledge with many local businesses.

BVSC’s Chief Executive, Brian Carr said, “We believe that to bring lasting change to Birmingham and Solihull’s youth 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.”

The model of support for the Not in Education Employment or Training (NEET group) consisted of up to 18 months of support by an assigned coach. Each young person had the opportunity to be supported through their sometimes complex barriers and situations and work towards employability. Some were not ready for that and moved into volunteering or education. However, some were supported into work through a Talent Match Company model or directly into employment. Many went on to sustain employment for over six months. Such a period of coaching support has meant that young people have been able to go back to their coach without re telling their story again and again.

During the last three months of the Programme (January- March 2019) we took the opportunity to speak to employers about their experience of employing 18-24year olds. The results of this are presently being collated.
The Programme concluded with a very successful ‘Open Minds’ breakfast event on 22 March 2019, hosted at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. Keynote speakers included West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street and Founder of Miss Macaroon CIC, Rosie Ginday. Presentations were followed by a panel discussion hosted by Marc Reeves, Editor-in-chief for the Midlands at Reach plc.

Rosie Ginday, founder of Miss Macaroon CIC, addressing delegates at the ‘Open Minds’ Breakfast on 22 March 2019

Read the final reports by clicking on the links below:

Open Minds: The Birmingham & Solihull Talent Match Legacy (2019)
Talent Match Birmingham & Solihull Annual Report (2018)

Talent Match Programme Manager, Gurdeep Hanspaul, commented “The impact of the Programme has not only been seen with individuals successfully moving towards employment, but also through employers actively engaging, offering intensive support to the young person when they enter employment, for whatever length of time is right for that young person.”

“We have worked with many employers who have become partners with the understanding of offering chances to those who may not be afforded these through usual routes into employment. Solihull SUSTAIN have been a major partner in not only delivering the Programme in Solihull, but also engaging as a TMCo employer, taking several young people under their wing, providing skills, confidence, independence and much more.”

Speakers and panel members at ‘Open Minds’ Breakfast at ICC on 22 March 2019

The Programme has also served to raise awareness that there are still many young people who are experiencing barriers to work and that we need something more sustainable for those that fall into this area. Equally, we need more employers to engage and support these brilliant young people who need an opportunity to shine and become part of the economy of Birmingham and Solihull.

A huge thanks to all who have contributed and got the Programme to where it ended, over the past five years.

For any further information, please contact Gurdeep Hanspaul.
Email: gurdeeph@bvsc.org