June Main Talent Coach Forum

On Friday 22nd June, Greater Manchester Talent Match Talent Coaches attended their main forum, held at the St Thomas Conference Centre in Ardwick.

Talent Coaches are at the heart of our programme. They are professionals based in local communities who offer one-to-one, long-term support throughout a young person's employment journey. 

The quarterly main forums offer Talent Coaches the chance to: get up-to-date with all programme developments; network with Talent Coach colleagues from different organisations; attend skills and knowledge workshops and receive local labour market information. 

This was the penultimate main forum ahead of GM Talent Match ending in December 2018. Naturally, a central theme for the day was sharing good practice around managing young people's exits from the programme. 


A morning coaching session offered hints and tips around managing positive transitions for beneficiaries whilst the ever-popular 'Now Hiring’ sessions explored local opportunities in the construction and the digital media sectors.

Representing the construction industry were Galliford Try who have created an employment pathway specifically for Greater Manchester Talent Match beneficiaries. Between July and September, Galliford Try will offer work experience opportunities, mock interviews and subcontractor support, with the possibility of paid work trials and employment opportunities with subcontractors. 

Michael Jackson from Greater Manchester Combined Authority spoke to Coaches about iDEA, a free online resource where young people can improve their digital skills.

Completing an eclectic morning agenda was a session lead by Breakthrough UK examining discrimination in recruitment processes and how to challenge unfair practice. Allied to this, legal services provider, Horwich Farelly, spoke to Coaches about their successes running an internship programme for young people with disabilities. 

The afternoon focused heavily on the range of support services Talent Coaches can refer their beneficiaries to.

Coaches had already provided a detailed individual exit strategies for each of their young people but a mapping exercise ensured that Coaches could share their knowledge of service provision in their local areas. The Growth Company (who run Skills for Employment, a one-to-one employment support programme) and Centre Point, who provide homelessness support to young people in Manchester also gave presentations.

With the phased introduction of Universal Credit continuing apace across Greater Manchester, Citizens Advice Manchester ran small group sessions examining common Universal Credit issues such as sanctioning and waiting periods. 

September’s final main forum will undoubtedly have a celebratory feel as we recognise the incredible difference our Talent Coaches have made to the near 2,000 young people Greater Manchester Talent Match has engaged with.