Representatives of Talent Match North East’s (TMNE) Young Person Steering Group (YPSG) enjoyed meeting young people and partners from the Talent Match Humber programme on Wednesday 11 January.

Members of the YPSG, including Jessica Cook, journeyed by train to Hull because they were interested in finding out more about the other 21 Talent Match programmes across the country.

Staff from Youth Focus: North East and TMNE accompanied four young people as they met with the Talent Match Humber programme in Kingston upon Hull, led by the Humber Learning Consortium.

Talent Match Humber is supporting young people to raise awareness of the challenges young people with hidden disabilities (disabilities that are not immediately apparent) face when trying to access employment. The group is also helping employers feel more confident in preparing their workplace to allow young people with disabilities to thrive.

We sat down with Jessica, a young person involved in helping to shape Talent Match North East, to ask her some questions about the visit. This is what she had to say:

Where did you go?
On Wednesday 11 January 2017, I travelled by train with a group to Kingston upon Hull.

Have you been before?
No, I haven’t. But I’ve been to Sheffield and London recently for Talent Match events.

Who did you go with?
I went with Simone and Alex from Youth Focus: North East, Amy, Kerrie, and Daniel from the Young Person Steering Group, and Stephen from the Wise Group.

What did you do?
I attended a conference with Angel and some young people about Talent Match in Hull. After that, we went to see a local museum and sites. Then we went for some food and drink before getting back on the train.

What did you talk about?
Talent Match Humber and what they do for the young, unemployed people with disabilities to help them find work or training.

Did you have a good time?
Yes, I did, despite the weather. It was freezing cold!

What did you learn?
I learned that there are many young people in the same situation as me, trying to find employment or training. Young people can make a difference changing things for everyone.

Thanks Jess.

Talent Match North East is an innovative programme that targets 18-24-year-olds that are furthest from the jobs market. Talent Match is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and managed in the North East by Wise Group. It has been specifically designed to provide support to individuals who have not been in education, employment or training, or any other form of support for 12 months or more and who have specific intrinsic or extrinsic barriers to progression. Target groups include young males, lone parents, young carers, young people from communities facing long-term unemployment, young people with mental health issues, and young people with disabilities.

The programme has placed young people and employers at the heart of its design. Talent Match North East will support an upward ceiling of 2,500 young people over five years, until 2018.

Youth Focus: North East have been commissioned to ensure young people are meaningfully involved in designing, delivering, and evaluating Talent Match services.

Youth Focus: North East have established and co-ordinate three youth-led projects, a Young Person’s Steering Group, a team of Champions, and a trained cohort of Young Evaluators.

Alongside these groups, Youth Focus: North East support Talent Match partners to develop and embed their own models of youth participation, ensuring the programme involves young people from a grassroots level.

For more details about Talent Match North East, please contact Alex Black on (0191) 477 9966 or at [email protected].

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