Creative CafeA scheme to help unemployed young people in Hastings is aiming to bring employers and local organisations together to get young people back into work.

Talent Match is a £108 million Big Lottery Fund investment in 21 Talent Match Projects in England aimed at helping long-term unemployed young people, aged 18-24, to gain employment. Its aim is to ensure that the skills and experience of the voluntary and community sector can be used to help tackle youth unemployment and it has been designed by young people, for young people.

The project is being led by The Prince’s Trust. Since it was set up, Talent Match in East Sussex has engaged with 190 young people in Bexhill, Eastbourne and Hastings. Talent Match has recently joined forces with Culture Shift to hold a series of Creative Cafes – events designed to support young people to meet local employers and businesses. A Creative Café at the Stade Hall in Hastings gave young people the opportunity to meet a range of employers from large national businesses to small start-ups, including construction, banking, retail, engineering and creative businesses.

A representative from General Dynamics, who attended the event, said: “Being able to speak and explain to people what our company does and to expand on how many job roles there are available is really important”.
A representative from Westoak Builders added: “Getting us more known to young people and continuing to inspire young people in the construction industry will support recruitment going forward”.

Feedback from the young people has shown that meeting employers has improved their understanding of what employers really look for in an applicant and were surprised that team work, motivation and the right attitude were, at times, more important that skills or qualifications.

Young people who need help or support and are interested in being supported by a Talent Match Mentor should telephone Stacey Hide on 07415 366023.

If you are a local business that could offer a job, apprenticeship or work experience, please contact Vicky Fagan on 07734 777055.