Merseyside charity secures £4.2million to tackle youth unemployment 

May 30, 2022

Today, (Monday 30th May), 130-year-old charity, Merseyside Youth Association (MYA), announces it has secured £4.2million from Youth Futures Foundation and the European Social Fund / Youth Employment Initiative, administered by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).   

The cash injection comes at a vital time. The cost-of-living crisis is hitting young people hard as they pay double on essentials like rent and bills, compared to the over-50s. An effective way to tackle this is by supporting them to land good quality jobs, at a time when one in 10 young people in the country are not in employment, education or training (NEET).  

The financial boost from Youth Futures and the European Social Fund / Youth Employment Initiative will fund the delivery of MYA’s innovative Talent Match job support programme. Over 1,600 long-term unemployed 18-24-year-olds based in Liverpool City Region will benefit from a range of services, including specialised mental health support and bespoke employment guidance. 

Youth Futures funding (from Dormant Assets) will also support the evaluation, undertaken by King’s College London, of this place-based model to tackling youth unemployment. The findings will be shared across the youth sector and with national and local policymakers to help inform and scale up effective practice and policy. This builds on Youth Futures’ recently launched £6.1million Connected Futures Fund, aimed at reducing the fragmentation of youth employment and skills delivery in the places that need it most. Places that will receive funding will be announced in the summer. 

Harriet McCann, interim Director of Engagement, Youth Futures Foundation said:  

“The cost-of-living crisis is hitting young people hard and an effective way to overcome this is by supporting them into employment. Young people tell us they want joined-up, consistent support that helps them gain control of their lives, land a good job and fully contribute to society. That’s why we are investing £1.8million in Talent Match to test the best approaches to helping young people who face multiple challenges to secure good jobs. 

“We will use evidence from MYA to inform youth employment policy at a national and local level. This demonstrates the vital importance of using Dormant Assets funding to tackle youth unemployment, through funding and learning place-based initiatives like this in Merseyside.” 

Gill Bainbridge, CEO, Merseyside Youth Association said:  

“MYA and its partners are thrilled to receive investment from Youth Futures Foundation to support our Talent Match programme across Liverpool City Region. This funding will make a huge difference to the lives of some of the region’s most vulnerable and marginalised young people, and support them to develop the resilience, skills and motivation to overcome barriers and achieve. 

“It also provides us with a fantastic opportunity to work alongside King’s College London, to demonstrate and evidence our best practice and to influence future policy and practice in addressing youth unemployment.”  

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor, Liverpool City Region said:  

“It’s no secret that the pandemic has had a massive impact on young people’s prospects, with many struggling to make ends meet as jobs and apprenticeships are taken away, and opportunities lost. Too many are still being denied the chance to fulfil their potential – not because they lack talent, but because they lack opportunity. 

“I want to give a promise of hope to all young people in our region that there is a brighter future out there for them. The mark of any successful, modern society is by the opportunities and life chances it offers to its people – which is why it’s so fantastic that programmes like Talent Match are expanding, helping even more young people to access their services at a time when they’ve never been more important.” 

Lynn Fell, Senior Lead Merseyside, DWP said:   

“DWP Merseyside continues to prioritise and support youth employment and skills development across the city region with substantial government investment in the Youth Employment Programme.  

“The Youth Employment Programme forms part of the government’s multi-billion-pound Plan for Jobs aimed at protecting, supporting and creating jobs for people of all ages across the country. 

“The DWP Youth Offer has been developed to combat youth unemployment and to ensure that young people have the skills they need to look for, find and keep employment. 

“This £4.2million includes an additional £2.4million of funding from the European Social Fund, administered by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).” 

A young person on the Talent Match programme said: 

“When I started Talent Match I was not in a good place and really anxious about being almost 20 and never having a job. When I got into Talent Match, I met other people like me, and it helped me a lot. I was provided with a lot of opportunities and support. My mental health got better, and I now have a direction I want to go in life and a lot less anxiety around my future.”