November Talent Coach Main Forum

Main Forum

On Wednesday 29th November, Talent Coaches from across Greater Manchester came together at St Thomas Centre for the Main Talent Coach Forum. The morning involved two sessions: Young People and Substance Misuse, and a Now Hiring workshop which discussed Greater Manchester’s retail sector. The afternoon included an examination of plans which will help ensure young people get the support they need beyond the Talent Match programme’s end date. There was also a consultation from Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) around their forthcoming Local Employer Support Project.

Young People and Substance Misuse

This session was delivered by Michael Dunn from Change Grow Live, who provide Eclypse - a free and confidential drug and alcohol service for young people under 19 and families in Manchester. The session was designed to:

  • Raise awareness of drug groups and effects
  • Describe the referral process and the cycle of change (only 20 per cent of people are able to make permanent changes the first time).
  • Describe how treatment is provided and how community involvement can help young people.

95 per cent of attendees described the session as useful, citing increased confidence in both working with young people around substance misuse issues, and how to access support and advice.

‘Now Hiring’: Retail

Our ‘Now Hiring’ sessions provide localised careers guidance designed to help Talent Coaches support their young people into growing industries with increased job opportunities.

In Greater Manchester, the retail sector is worth £6.7 billion to the economy. 122,700 people in Greater Manchester are employed in the retail sector and there are over 12,000 employers. By 2035, it is expected that over 17,000 extra jobs will be created here.

Representatives from the Co-operative Group and Oxfam were in attendance to discuss their hiring process and to provide understanding of different routes into the sector.

Almost 90 per cent of Talent Coaches said that they will use the information from the session in their role. 

Local Employer Support Project

This session was delivered by Joy Sewart and Sara Boswell from GMCC, who will be delivering this project throughout the final year in order to provide support to Talent Coaches.

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce are committed to delivering high quality skills and employment initiatives across the region. The session acted as an opportunity for Talent Coaches to feedback and discuss the project’s planned launch event, the Talent Match Employer’s Award and the role of the Chamber in promoting links with employers.

Beneficiary Progression Plan Consultation

The purpose of this session was to update Talent Coaches about the introduction of the new Beneficiary Progression Plan and get their feedback about what it should include. The plan will help ensure young people get the support they need beyond the programme’s end date of November 2018.

The valuable feedback, information and practices gained from the Talent Coaches input will create a list of guidelines and a template, to ensure the progression plans will be consistent and successful in achieving their purpose.

The valuable feedback and good practice shared by Talent Coaches will be used to create a template, together with guidance to completing it, to enable the plans to be successful in achieving their purpose.

The Youth Panel

In response to requests from Talent Coaches, The Youth Panel attended the Main Forum and delivered a presentation about their purpose, journey, and future plans.

Upcoming plans for 2018 include a campaign to be delivered with Youth Employment UK, continuing work on an Employer Grant Scheme with Trafford Council, organising a celebration event in the summer and consultations with our beneficiaries.


A list of FAQs in regards to the final year of delivery, compiled both before and during the event, will be uploaded to the website and distributed to Talent Coaches in due course.

Overall, almost two thirds of the attending Talent Coaches said they would use the information delivered at the forum in their role. The Main Forum also acts as an excellent opportunity for networking, as expressed by our Coaches: ‘I would always value knowledge sharing from other coaches’.