A pioneering programme which has helped more than 1,000 young people into jobs in the North East has had its funding extended for a year.
Talent Match North East (TMNE), delivered by leading social enterprise the Wise Group with a range of partners, has had funding agreed by the Big Lottery Fund to extend the programme until the end of 2019.
TMNE works with young people aged 18 to 24 who are not in education, employment or training, supporting them to realise their potential and move towards work.
Sean Duffy, chief executive of the Wise Group, said: “Talent Match North East is a pioneering programme that puts young people front and centre both in designing and delivering the service – a major contributor to its success.
“By listening to and learning from young people, together we’ve been able to achieve incredible results in terms of employment and job sustainment rates, working with more than 2,500 young people so far to help them realise their potential and talents.
“It’s a privilege now to be able to continue to support the North East’s young people for a further 12 months. We’re delighted to extend our partnership with the Big Lottery Fund and are now keen to get cracking, with our delivery partners, to build on our first four years of delivery.”
One person helped by Talent Match North East is Alex Leigh.
When he joined the Talent Match programme, Alex, 25, from North Tyneside, was homeless and dealing with anxiety and depression.
Now, after intensive support from his youth coach who worked hard to improve his skills and build his confidence, he works as a kitchen assistant at Slaley Hall Hotel and is in training for his dream role as a chef.
Alex’s journey has taken him from living in temporary accommodation to living on site at Slaley Hall, learning more about the catering profession every day.
With TMNE’s support, Alex volunteered at a café before securing the role at Slaley Hall, building his skills, confidence and CV – a journey typical of the TMNE approach to tailoring the programme to young people’s individual needs and ambitions.