Talent Match was co-designed from inception with young people, a programme to think differently and find new ways of helping those young people furthest away from the labour market to find opportunities and long term, gainful employment. There were some fundamental values the programme held from the offset, amongst them included the involvement of young people at all levels in the decision making process.
From being part of the recruitment process for all the programmes staff, being the majority voice in the project’s governance through the Talent Match Steering Group, to always co-designing and making informed decisions about the tailored support they receive. This is always to support the basis that young people are truly the experts through their own experiences, who else could know better the needs of the individual.
By returning control of young people’s informed decisions to them the programme and young people have learned a great deal through test and learn about what really works and creates positive, long term outcomes. We have found opportunities for young people to share their experiences and have a voice, not just within the project governance but on a local, regional and national level. From contributing to APPG’s (All Party Parliamentary Groups) in the Houses of Parliament, national youth conferences, regional events and local community groups, the aim is to always engage young people with decision makers to have a voice and help inform constructive decisions for the future.