Greater Manchester's Hidden Talent began in March 2019, and, as we approach the end of the first year of the programme, we reflect on the progress made so far.
The team at GMCVO now work with nine delivery partners across the ten GM local authorities, we also have Greater Manchester Youth Network facilitate our Youth Panel and 42nd Street who provide mental health support for the young people. These partners collectively have now engaged with almost 180 young people and over 30 of these young people are now in sustained employment. Not all young people on the programme are working towards employment. Others are pursuing training or education, such as college courses or university qualifications. These are equally fantastic outcomes. Beneficiaries on the programme are also engaging in volunteering opportunities to develop their skills and gain valuable experience to support future job applications when they are ready for work.
The young people on the programme come from a wide variety of backgrounds, are facing their own individual barriers, and present their own unique skills and abilities. Some young people the Talent Coaches work with are very far from the workplace due to a variety of reasons - such as low confidence and self-esteem, mental health issues, disability, substance misuse, homelessness or lack of formal skills and qualifications. Not all our young people will reach sustained employment by the end of the programme: but in engaging with the Talent Coaches, they will be supported to develop the skills and abilities to overcome the barriers they face and hopefully find employment in the future. Some young people do not have any formal ID and so cannot claim benefits, register for training or sign up to any educational courses. The Talent Coaches support them to obtain new ID and in some cases help them to register with a GP, reconnect with their families and give the stability and direction to progress towards employment that has often not been there.
Our Youth Panel - a group of young people who have experience barriers to employment who support the programme – continue to carry out the 'Be Clear, Remove Fear' workshops: where they support an employer to make changes to their recruitment processes to be inclusive to young people.
Into the next year, we will continue our across the 10 GM authorities. We have more Employer Engagement Workshops coming up, and the Youth Panel are beginning a project looking into the accessibility of the Youth Obligation service provided by Job Centres in GM. The GM's Hidden Talent team and GMCVO Databases are supporting Manchester City Council in the building of the 'M-EET your match' service, which will provide training, volunteer, workshops and job opportunities to young people.
Thank you to all those who support the work of Greater Manchester's Hidden Talent, and continue to work with us into Year 2 of the programme.