Talent Match Plus

Posted 12th May 2017
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Key Project Information
Project Name: Talent Match Plus
Lead Organisation: Merseyside Youth Association
ESF value: £3,646,816
Duration: November 2015 to July 2018
Contact: Gill Bainbridge bainbridgeg@mya.org.uk Colette Taylor taylorc@mya.org.uk Website: www.mya.org.uk

Project summary
Talent Match Plus aims to help young people develop the resilience to overcome barriers, apply work related skills and gain confidence to access and progress into employment opportunities. The project supports young people aged 15-29 years old across Liverpool City Region, who are not in education, employment or training, including those who are furthest away from the labour market.

Support is provided through intensive mentoring, and personalised career coaching, to develop a unique package of support that is bespoke and flexible to meet the needs of each young person and support their progression into education, employment or training.

Examples of the type of support is available is as follows:

  • Intensive mentors coach and support young people to develop a personalised support package within community hubs, including an initial assessment, therapeutic support (counselling, speech and language, anger management, self-harm support), intensive mentoring, etc.
  • Use of a bespoke toolkit to enable young people to identify their strengths and barriers, and set goals related to skills, employment, life and future.
  • Basic skills support, offering literacy and numeracy support.
  • Young people will be encouraged to explore self-employment and enterprise activity and a Business Start-Up Advisor will be available to provide support.

The project is led by the Merseyside Youth Association and delivered in conjunction with the following organisations:

Youth Federation
Young Persons Advisory Service
Liverpool John Moores University

Key Outputs / Results
This project will work with 2,237 young people a year and aims to get 25% into employment or self-employment and 30% into education / training.

In addition, this project aims to provide accredited learning outcomes and develop a toolkit of best practice as a legacy.

Beneficiary Experiences




Laurie has made the best use of the Talent Match Plus Programme, maximising every opportunity; through one-to-one mentoring support, Personal Social Development and professional development programmes. Since joining the Programme, Laurie has drawn on her previous experience of volunteering/work experience and her ceaseless ‘can –do’ attitude, to embrace relevant opportunities per her interests and work goals.

Laurie’s commitment was unquestionable. She wanted to make a difference to her life. And with the support from the Talent Match Plus Programme, she could do so.

Possessing a caring, warm nature and a quiet strength, that never fails to affect those around her, who immediately feel her potential, Laurie has a great reputation among her peers.
With the support of her Intensive Mentor she completed certificated courses and programmes, which all served to enrich her knowledge and skills, increasing her chances of gaining employment in a related field. And her confidence and self-belief was growing all the time.

Laurie has had her own personal challenges but was so supportive of other participants during their time on the Talent Match Plus Programme. She always had a smile on her face, and went out of her way by encouraging other young people.

Laurie would have a very positive and calming impact on others, and even when we knew she was having a tough day her enthusiasm was contagious.

Laurie must face her own physical challenges daily, which she rarely mentions and never lets barriers prevent her success. She lives independently, and has become her own motivator.

Laurie realised the advantage of participating in Talent Match Plus Activities to enhance her employability, resulting in success at a highly competitive interview with Arden College. She has secured her dream job, providing training and independent living skills for young adults with learning disabilities.

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Liam has achieved so much with Talent Match Plus. He now volunteers part-time for a Charity as a driver’s mate which he really enjoys. This is a huge step for Liam as before Talent Match Plus, he would not leave his bedroom due to his depression. However, with the support of an Intensive Mentor who has worked really hard with Liam, he built up his confidence enough to access counselling sessions. This has been a long journey for Liam; The difference that we have seen in him has been amazing from when we first met him. Liam always appreciates the time that his Intensive Mentor spends with him, and the regular contact through phone calls or a simple text helps him enormously.

Liam has had a troubled background, and still has many barriers to overcome – and although we still have a lot of work to do with Liam he has confidently been able to speak about his past but he now looks to the future which he said is very bright with all the help and support from Talent Match Plus.

Liam says that he would like to give something back to thank Talent Match Plus for all the help he has been given, and has with the support of the Programme been to London and Sheffield speaking to other young people about his experiences and how far he has come with the support of Talent Match Plus. This was a really big step for Liam in achieving this. We will continue to work with Liam to explore his next steps with him. But already, Liam is now leaving the house more often, is going out on his mountain bike and has joined a mixed martial arts group which he is interested in and is meeting new people.

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