On Wednesday 21st March, Greater Manchester Talent Match Talent Coaches attended their main forum, held at the St Thomas Conference Centre in Ardwick.
The quarterly main forums are a principal means of sharing key programme developments with Talent Coaches, whilst providing a chance for inter-coach networking.
March’s event placed an even sharper focus on sharing of good practice, knowledge and skills.
Following feedback, there was a greater emphasis on taking a more dynamic approach to the day’s activities.
The morning session was aligned to one of the programme’s key legacy objectives: continuing support for 'hidden' young people - those aged 18-24, who are not in education, employment or training but also not in receipt of welfare support.
The GM Talent Match team are developing funding bids to support this demographic after the current programme ends. The Main Forum provided an opportunity for Talent Coaches to ensure we are targeting the young people who are in most need of this support.
The first group exercise saw Talent Coaches discussing the characteristics of hidden young people. Learning from this will help the project team to more clearly define the eligibility criteria of ‘hidden’ beneficiaries in future funding bids. Talent Coaches then mapped out hypothetical employment journeys for ‘hidden’ young people facing differing employability barriers.
We’re now looking at planning employment journeys for #hidden young people. Some varied and far-reaching thoughts: Linking with schools earlier on, broadening the demographics of YP’s social spheres, maximising impact of local outreach, more political accountability. #TCForum pic.twitter.com/ZBqMnO2Hkf— GM Talent Match (@GMtalentmatch) March 21, 2018
The afternoon’s focus shifted to pooling ideas and experiences. After a well-received human bingo game (in which Talent Coaches had to find colleagues from different Host Organisations), a carousel-style World Café exercise saw some thought-provoking and lively themed discussions. Talent Coaches rotated around 11 tables, tackling three suggested topics at each one e.g. navigating the benefit system, experience of employer engagement etc. There was the opportunity for Talent Coaches to play both expert and questioner on different topics as they moved around the room.
Continuing the peer support theme, the Project Team then led an interactive quiz and audience participation game focused on getting the most from Workplace by Facebook (the recently adopted communication channel linking Talent Coaches, the Project Team and external stakeholders). The day was rounded off by speakers from Greater Manchester Mind who explained the mental health support they will providing to young people on the programme.
Learning form the World Café activity will soon be shared with Talent Coaches via Workplace whilst planning for the next Main Forum in June will begin in earnest after the Easter break!