Youth Panel working with Jobcentre Plus to understand young people's needs

Meeting of Greater Manchester Talent Match Youth Panel

Back in August 2017, Greater Manchester Talent Match (GMTM) announced a partnership agreement with Youth Employment UK’s Youth Ambassador programme.

The initial aim of the partnership was to support the GMTM Youth Panel to pinpoint a current youth employment issue they were interested in researching. The Youth Panel would deepen their understanding of said issue by gathering evidence designed to influence policy and decision makers.

The Youth Panel have identified Jobcentre Plus provision as their area of focus. Members agreed there are issues around the accessibility of information at Jobcentre Plus and that communication methods employed by work coaches are not as effective as they could be.

More specifically the Youth Panel aim to:

  • Support Jobcentre Plus to improve their services by deepening their understanding of young people’s needs
  • Support disengaged young people to find out more about Jobcentre Plus and its services

To inform this work, throughout May the Youth Panel will survey both young people and Jobcentre Plus staff across Greater Manchester. This will be done via both face-to-face interviews and online questionnaires.

The project’s second stage will see these findings feed into the creation of a pilot project. This will be delivered at an identified Jobcentre Plus office.

Lauren Mistry, Operations Director at Youth Employment UK: “We have been amazed by the Youth Panel’s dedication and hard work so far. They are thoroughly determined to shape and influence the way that young people and Jobcentre Plus interact with one another.

“We have also been delighted by the level engagement from Jobcentre Plus. We are working towards collective goals – we want our research and pilot to benefit all involved.”

GMTM will be sharing regular updates on the progress of this exciting and innovative project. It is hoped that research findings and recommendations will be ready for sharing by August, at which point the intricacies of the pilot project will be mapped out.