Talent Match London is a partnership of organisations testing innovative youth-led solutions to unemployment and sharing learning for social impact.

It is part of the Big Lottery Fund’s £100m, nationwide Talent Match programme which is focusing on 21 youth unemployment hotspots across the country.

Talent Match London has been designed to provide not only the skills, but the confidence, resilience, networks, and the sustained backing that young people might need as they set out to navigate fulfilling career pathways. By providing personalised one-to-one support to all young people on the programme, we believe Talent Match London will help more of them achieve meaningful and sustainable jobs and opportunities and help those facing the biggest barriers to overcome them.

How is it different?

Unlike almost all other employability programmes, Talent Match has been designed by young people, in partnership with employers and the voluntary sector. Talent Match has a genuine focus on enabling young people who face the biggest barriers – such as through living with a disability or having caring responsibilities – to have more and better opportunities to get into sustainable jobs and careers. The programme will invest in local partnerships, creating one-to-one support, outreach, skills development and employer engagement in the areas where they are most needed.

It is a 5 year, £10m programme working in specific London Boroughs where the need is greatest, as well as at a strategic pan-London level. This means it has the scale and investment needed to try to identify solutions to long term and complex challenges. Talent Match is as much about testing different approaches and, learning from what already works as inventing new solutions.

What will Talent Match achieve for young people and for London?

  • Talent Match will directly support 2,500 young people to gain skills and capabilities giving them better chances of re-joining education or gaining sustainable employment
  • The programme will support 1,250 of these young people into positive opportunities, such as training or further learning, and over five years 625 will find sustainable employment or set up their own business as a result of their participation
  • The programme is dedicated to sharing the learning and best practice, to ensure that young people continue to benefit from the programme once it finishes.

How the programme works?
Talent Match London takes a partnership approach, from design to delivery. Young people, third sector organisations and employers work together to share experiences and knowledge. The programme is through a network of 30 voluntary organisations each with different specialisms.

Talent Match London is focused around a set of pillars, designed by young people

Youth-led – from its design to delivery the programme is youth-led, with a youth board supporting and guiding the programme at all levels.

Outreach – committing sufficient resources and using innovative techniques to engage young people “outside of the system”.

Personalised support – developing a trusting, one-on-one relationship with a support worker, to discover more about what they are passionate about and decide what they would want to achieve out of a career.

Transferable skills – supporting a young person develop soft skills, such as their resilience, confidence, and life-style before they become job-ready.

Job-ready skills – this includes practical skills around work place behavior, support writing CV and interviewing.

Employer engagement – employers need to be involved from the conception of the programme, to ensure that young people are developing the skills that employers really need.