Talent Match Middlesbrough (TMM) is a Fulfilling Lives, Big Lottery funded programme. The aim is to remove barriers for young people, 18-24 years, into employment, who have been not in education, employment or training (NEET) for 12 months or more.
MVDA delivers the involvement element of this programme by managing and facilitating the TMM Young People’s Panel (YPP) who act as the fundamental driving force, directing the development of TMM. Members of the panel must live in Middlesbrough and have their own experience of unemployment or are aware of the impact this can have on families and individuals.
Since the panel began in April 2014, we have supported 96 members to have a voice of which 10+ members are still regularly active as many are now in positive outcomes e.g work and education. In total members have contributed nearly 6000 hours of their own time to support the direction and development of the programme. The work of the YPP has included:
- Design and production of the TMM logo.
- Evaluation training to gather feedback from other young people to ensure the approach is meeting their needs.
- Designed and led three commissioning processes and awarded funding to a number of different organisations to provide a variety of support services.
- Marketing of TMM and produced two promotional films to inform young people about the programme.
- Received a South Tees VCS award - Effective Campaign for their work around influencing change.
- Recruited TMM staff.
- Organised and facilitated events.
- Contributed to and attended local and national events including a trip to Westminster to influence how to involve young people in co-production.
- Influenced local and national service delivery.
- Lead on the legacy and sustainability of TMM.
We provide training and support, both individually and collectively, to ensure that members are able to make a positive contribution within the programme.
You don't just have to take our word for the positive impact involvement has on young people, you can hear it directly from the YPP members themselves:
Key Learning from the project
We've pulled together our most important key reports and messages we've learnt over the last few years.
Talent Match Legacy Work - Links to Middlesbrough SEND Team
The need to link more consistently with Middlesbrough's arrangements around special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has been a significant area of learning for the Middlesbrough Talent Match programme. Many of the young adults that have been supported by Talent Match Middlesbrough have been identified as meeting the criteria for SEND whilst previously at school and have had some support as they have transitioned into adulthood. The learning from Talent Match does, however, indicate that historical arrangements around post 16 SEND transitions have not always offered the required level of support for these young adults. Additionally, Talent Match has identified a significant number of young adults with a range of vulnerabilities and difficulties that did not meet the criteria for SEND support at school which left them struggling to navigate the post 16 world.
Many of the young adults that have been supported by Talent Match have worked with us to share their experiences, the adverse impact of that lack of support post 16 and how we can use this learning through the legacy of Talent Match to better support the adults of the future working through transitions within school as we plan ahead more systemically to improve outcomes for young people/young adults in Middlesbrough going forward.
What we have done with this learning:
We have met, and are committed to ongoing work, with Middlesbrough council's SEND team to better understand SEND arrangements in Middlesbrough and to explore how we can utilise the learning from Talent Match in strategic planning and practice improvements to better support improved outcomes and experiences for young people going through preparation for adulthood transitions and considering post 16 education or employment options.
Middlesbrough council have made significant changes to their SEND work over the past year and have a new SEND strategy for 2018-2020. Of the current 5,200 children and young people identified as SEND approximately 4000 are those are receiving SEND support without a formal Education Health and Care Plan.
Middlesbrough council have a range of multi-agency SEND focused subgroups which come under the umbrella of a strategic preparation for adulthood forum meeting:
- Independent living
- Employer engagement
- Data and destinations
- Vocational profile and planning
- Curriculum development
It is agreed that we will attend these meetings to ensure the Talent Match legacy work is considered within their broader context, and to ensure post 16 SEND arrangements consider the three key areas of learning identified by Talent Match:
- 1:1 personalised support
- Consistent and relevant information
- Employment, skills and training
Middlesbrough council have guidance and training available for relevant partners interested in understanding SEND assessment plans and the support process.
A key area of learning from Talent Match relates to the need for wider and more available access to relevant and consistent information. The link to the local offer for Middlesbrough's families with children identified as SEND is now being circulated widely across partner agencies for promotion across Middlesbrough. Agencies are encouraged to promote this link via their websites and other platforms.