On 28th June, a meeting of voluntary, public and private sector organisations from Birmingham and Solihull agreed that BVSC would support a cross-sector partnership in bidding into the Big Lottery Fund’s new‘ Talent Match’ programme. BVSC's role will be to provide secretariat support to the emerging partnership as it develops a potential prospectus for investment in tackling youth unemployment in Greater Birmingham and Solihull.
The programme – which has been co-designed by a group of young people on the Big Lottery Fund’s young people’s investment team - is focussed on supporting 18-24 year olds who have been out of work, education or training for 12 months or more, and aims to help them find meaningful work, move into further education, or to set up their own enterprises.
Approximately £7.5 million is available to invest in Solihull and Birmingham over 5 years from 2013 onwards. BVSC’s role is to pull together the relevant voluntary, public and private sector partners and to work with local young people in designing a prospectus setting out how the money should be invested in order to create real change in the area.
The money must be used to develop a range of cross-sectoral joined-up services and activities which will achieve some very specific outcomes, including:
I spoke at the Talent Match launch on the 28th, and noted that this was one of the best-conceived funding programmes I had come across. It’s not hard to see why. Not only is it designed to address a pressing need – the growing number of unemployed young people in the UK – it’s co-designed by the very people whose understanding of the problem far outstrips that of any statutory or independent agency: young people themselves.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Talent Match is that it provides us with an opportunity to undertake some genuine impact-orientated co-production in tackling youth unemployment. Needless to say, I’ve particularly welcomed the fact that the voluntary sector is required to take the lead in moving the initiative forward, and that young people must play an active role in its design (and in ensuring the delivery of its outcomes).
At BVSC, we’re committed to taking an evidence-based and outcomes-focused approach to working with partners in designing the prospectus. We are currently working with our colleagues at the Colebridge Trust to organise a Solihull-based meeting of potential partners. BVSC’s Director of Programmes, Tracey O’Brien – who has extensive experience of managing effective schemes to tackle youth unemployment – is leading on the work from BVSC’s perspective.
If you are a voluntary, public, or private sector organisation who has something specific to offer in terms of meeting the requirements of the programme outlined above, please get in touch with us and we’ll ensure you’re informed of the meeting date. Please contact Michele Saul on 0121 678 8824 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more details on the programme itself, see: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/prog_talent_match?tab=1®ioncode=-uk