On Friday I visited Talent Match in Bilston…

Bilston Town Hall operates as the Central Hub for Talent Match Black Country. The programme is hosted by Gazebo theatre and I went there to see how the programme has progressed since starting up over 2 years ago.

The Talent Match programme offers tailored personalised support to 18 -; 29 year olds who have been out of employment or education for over a year and who face significant barriers to finding training or work. The hub in Bilston uses creative arts as a tool to engage young people.

I enjoyed meeting some of the young people who are on the programme who have progressed in different areas of their lives since being on the programme. Daniel Douglas, 26 spoke about the progress he has made, commenting “Talent Match takes an interest in your skills and exposes your talents. Before coming on the programme, I didn’t even like to go outside but now I’m looking at myself in a different way and building confidence”.

The majority of young people in the room spoke about how the programme had helped them build confidence and step out of their comfort zones and we discussed how important it is in the world of work to master the art of appearing confident and being able to deal with people from all walks of life.

I was particularly impressed at some of the innovative projects that they are involved with including a new TV pilot called ‘Lucid’ which the young people are involved with set designing, filming and acting in and which will also provide them with paid work opportunities as well as experience. In addition to this, the programme are developing ‘virtual CV’s’ where young people showcase talents to employers via a video CV of themselves rather than traditional written CV’s.

Above all, I am hopeful and enthusiastic for the future and the young people who are engaged on Talent Match in Bilston because the programme has the support of many employers across the city who can provide sustainable working opportunities for these young people.

If you are out of work and fit the criteria you can sign up to the programme here;



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