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May 10, 2019

Lessons on place-based approaches from Talent Match Croydon

Today we met with the Talent Match Daniel Shoultz and Sonia Archer from London Youth, who were kind enough to share with us their experiences of working with a place-based model.

Their innovative employment programme is for 18-24 year olds living or accessing services in Croydon who have been out of education or work for a year or more. The programme is designed to build young people’s confidence, resilience, networks and skills to enable them to enter and sustain work. It grew out of the Lottery-funded Talent Match London.

We were particularly interested in learning about Talent Match’s place-based model.  The services have to be designed to meet not just the needs of young people in Croydon, but recognise the different barriers young people face even within different parts of the borough. Simple decisions like where to run activities from can have huge implications for which young people access them. Exploring these complexities at our meeting with Daniel and Sonia today made it strikingly clear why a place-based approach is advantageous when attempting to address the issue of youth employment.

The Croydon team have also continued the Talent Match focus on putting young people at the heart of designing the services that are meant to benefit them. They were brimming with ideas for how we can learn from them and other organisations that take youth voice seriously. We will be following up on these.

The Talent Match Croydon team are one of around 30 stakeholder organisations we’ve met with since launching in February and we’d like to say a big thank you to Daniel and Sonia for hosting us.

This explorative work is helping us gain a deeper understanding of youth employment issues across England and will inform and shape our initial strategy.

We look forward to sharing this with you in the near future!


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