The Greater Manchester Talent Match (GM Talent Match) Youth Panel amassed a whopping 2,026 volunteering hours from April 2017 to April 2018, up from 1,991 the year before. The amount of time spent volunteering has risen every year since the Youth Panel’s inception in 2014/15, when 390 hours were completed.
Over the past 12 months, the Youth Panel took part in a wide range of activities across Greater Manchester, including supporting the planning, delivery and evaluation of GM Talent Match and consulting on youth engagement best practice with other organisations.
The group have fed back on youth employment in the Houses of Parliament; changed perceptions of mental health with their #MakeMentalHealthWork campaign; and even helped Comic Relief decide where to allocate funding. They have also supported local authorities - advising on Trafford Council’s Employer Grant Scheme and reviewing the accessibility of Manchester City Council’s apprenticeship programmes.
“Sometimes, getting young people involved can feel tokenistic, but we [the Youth Panel] get the opportunity to make a difference and actually be heard.”
The Youth Panel are currently working in partnership with Youth Employment UK to develop a pilot programme to increase the accessibility of Jobcentre Plus to young people in areas of Greater Manchester. The project will be launched in July.