Talent Match conference

Talent Match

Talent Match conference

Talent Match is a five-year, £108 million National Lottery funded programme which supports young people along the road to employment.

Aims & approach

What is Talent Match doing? 

Since 2014 Talent Match has worked with 26,000 young people aged 18-24 who need extra support to help them along the path to sustainable employment.

As well as helping young people to find work, the programme aims to provide individuals with the skills and resilience that they need to navigate a fulfilling career.

Talent Match recognises that different people will need different levels of support to gain employment. The programme has a particular focus on helping young people who have been long-term unemployed and face significant barriers to employment, such as parenting or caring responsibilities, disability or a lack of education, to find career opportunities.

The Talent Match Partnerships work with individuals to tailor support according to their needs and aspirations, which can include wellbeing and mental health support, as well as practical help.

People in the Lead 

Talent Match has been initiated by, co-designed and delivered with young people. Learning from the programme is being shared at a national and international level, as our partnerships and young people seek to contribute to policy and practice.

Young people sit as equal partners on decision-making boards at local partnerships and are involved of all aspects of the programme, from design to implementation, including selection of staff and providers, and carrying out research and evaluations of services.



More than 1,500 young people have been involved in the running and leadership of the Talent Match projects. As a result, we have found a number of proven and promising practices from across our Talent Match Partnerships. Our insights are outlined in three key areas:


To measure the social and economic impact of Talent Match, we have commissioned an Evaluation and Learning contract, led by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University with its partners the Institute for Employment Research (IER, University of Warwick), plus the City Region Economic Development Institute (University of Birmingham) and Cambridge Economic Associates.

This evaluation tracks the journey of young people into employment, assessing what works and why, and enables us to share learning across the UK and beyond. As a result, Talent Match has been recognised as one of the 22 promising practices in the field of youth employment by the European Commission. The programme has been cited in two new European Commission publications:


Our Programme partners

Talent Match is taking place in 21 Local Enterprise Partnership areas across England. Talent Match partnerships operate in some or all of each area, concentrating on localities with higher youth unemployment and where there are significant opportunities to add value.

Each delivery partnership is led by a voluntary or community led organisation, but brings together young people, employers, statutory agencies, education providers and charities.