Lessons on place-based approaches from Talent Match Croydon

May 10, 2019

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!


Youth Futures Foundation is starting to build a panel of evaluators with the relevant skills and experience to conduct high quality evaluations of youth employment initiatives funded through our Impact grants. This is an opportunity to play a founding role in this collaborative endeavour to generate robust findings that can be used to improve outcomes for disadvantaged young people.
We are beginning the Expression of Interest stage now, as we expect to require evaluators to start working with projects in summer 2020. However, at this stage we will only select a small number of teams, given that some of our funding activities are likely to be delayed by the Covid 19 pandemic. We anticipate there will be further opportunities to join the panel in the future.


Youth Futures welcome the latest UK data on youth employment released by ONS today, which show a continued rise in the number of young people who are in education, training or work. 


‘A few weeks into my new job and I am working with our committed team to refine our strategy and pave the way for the Youth Futures grants programme to open in the first quarter of 2020.’ New CEO, Anna Smee, outlines way forward for Youth Futures Foundation.