31 Aug 16

T Fest, a new model for employer engagement


T Fest Talent Match London’s youth employability festival kicked off on 26 August at the East Ham Rugby club, in East London. Hosted by model, DJ and presenter Snooshi Shy, T Fest was an employability event like no other.

Breaking away from the traditional career fair format, the festival featured a live performance from British MC, singer and actress Paigey Cakey and a live DJ set from DJ Matchstick. The festival was brought together by the Talent Match London youth committee, who were unsatisfied with the traditional career model and noticed a gap in the market for a fun alternative.

Over 50 business representatives from private and public sector organisations such as Barclays and the Department for Work and Pensions, attended the festival to give young people advice and guidance on skills, training and career pathways.

Over 47 percent of young people on Talent Match London cite lack of work experience and knowledge of the Labour market as their main barrier to employment. Talent Match London has been working with employers to give young people the opportunity to explore different careers and build up their confidence in the face of employers.

Speaking on how this approach helped him, former Talent Match London participant, Jody Regan said:

“Talent Match London has given me the confidence to speak freely with employers, both big and small. I now liaise with managers and directors on a regular basis in my new job. Unique employer engagement opportunities like the business breakfasts helped me develop my networking skills, build my professional network, and land me a job!”

Steph Taylor, Head of Talent Match London said:

“T Fest is a great example of young people being empowered to create something that works for them. All too often when we talk about solutions for youth employment, we don’t include young people or employers in that conversation.  Talent Match London is about supporting young people, so that they can develop the confidence, skills and professional networks to overcome their barriers and find their own solutions – organising and running this event has had a huge impact on a large group of young people and we hope it will inspire many more”.