Youth unemployment tackled

Young people sing the praises of the National Lottery's Talent Match programme
Young people sing the praises of the National Lottery's Talent Match programme

An innovative back to work programme to tackle youth unemployment is helping young Sheffielders and others in the UK back into the workplace, a study by Sheffield Hallam University has found.

The university was commissioned to evaluate the Big Lottery Fund's £108 million Talent Match programme and found it was turning the tide for Britain's 'hidden' unemployed youth.

Talent Match is a National Lottery- funded programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

The five year initiative, launched in 2013, supports 'hidden youth' aged 18 to 24 who are neither receiving benefits nor engaged in employment, education or training and who need extra support to find fulfilling employment.

It found 41 percent of participants achieved a job outcome and 18 percent a job outcome lasting as least six months. Nearly half (46 percent) had undertaken a work placement or taken up an opportunity to volunteer. And over three-quarters (78 percent) of Talent Match participants who initially recorded a low well-being score (for example, in terms of life satisfaction) went on to record a higher score at a later stage.

Professor of Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation at the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University, Peter Wells, said research shows the ongoing need to support young people and added: “The benefits of employment programmes such as the Big Lottery Fund’s Talent Match programme are wide ranging. The programme has helped over 25,000 young people through addressing barriers to employment including low levels of mental health, practical barriers such as transport and childcare, and how employment can be sustained and fulfilling for young people.  A key factor has been the integration of support to meet the needs and aspirations of the young person,”