On the 17th May, members of the GM Talent Match project team and the Youth Panel attended the GM Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner at Victoria Warehouse.
As part of our work with the GM Chamber of Commerce in delivering the Local Employer Support Project, a GM Talent Match award has been developed to continue to celebrate the achievements and employment practices of youth friendly employers, even after the programme ends. We believe that it is important to celebrate employers who have provided meaningful employment opportunities to young people on the GM Talent Match programme.
Nominations came from young people on the programme and their Talent Coaches, and the selection was narrowed to down to GPL Group, Bright Horizons Manchester Day Nursery and Window Creations. We would like to extend a massive congratulations to Window Creations who ultimately won, for their work in helping to boost the career opportunities of young people in the area.
Windows Creations owner, Jeff Bridge, said ,"We are very proud to be the winners of the GM Talent Match award, at window creations we feel it is vitally important to give our young people a chance to succeed. Both apprentices (GM Talent Match beneficiaries) have proved massively beneficial to the company’s growth".
Our Youth Panel were consulted in the creation of the award, and were asked to consider what makes a good employer in regards to youth friendly recruitment practices, meaningful opportunities and in-work support. All Youth Panel members were at one time beneficiaries of the GM Talent Match Programme, so have faced their own barriers to employment and have both positive and negative experiences with employers.
The evening opened with Stella Bowdell, Director of Membership for the GM Chamber, who highlighted that young people deserve more, as well as the need to fight and collaborate to achieve this.
The President of the GM Chamber, Jane Boardman, spoke about the future of our children; “We want a Greater Manchester that supports young people from all walks of life to acquire the skills that they need to succeed.”
Guests enjoyed entertainment from comedian Andrew Ryan, and DJ Craig Charles before Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, provided the keynote speech. He said, “we want a Greater Manchester that leaves no one behind”. He also highlighted the importance of “commerce with a conscience” and “building on the strongest foundations… where public, private, voluntary and faith sectors all stand together”. He also spoke about his desire for apprenticeships to have equal parity with university courses.