Greater Manchester’s Hidden Talent is a youth employment programme working with young people aged 16 – 24, funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, and led by Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO).
The programme builds on learning from Greater Manchester Talent Match and the first iteration of Greater Manchester’s Hidden Talent which supported hidden young people to progress towards employment and improve their self-esteem and wellbeing. Hidden young people are not in employment, education or training and not claiming any benefits.
Whilst all young people aged 16 – 24 with barriers to employment, education or training are eligible for support, the programme targets ‘hidden young people’. Research from Greater Manchester Talent Match in 2018 revealed there to be over 21,000 hidden young people living in Greater Manchester.
Because most employment support programmes only target ‘known’ young people (those claiming out-of-work benefits), the Hidden Talent programme focus’ efforts on hidden young people because they are at increased risk of becoming separated from initiatives that improve the likelihood of employment.
MhIST is supporting this project in Bolton by offering 1 to 1 mental health support to young people (16-24) who are part of the Hidden Talent programme. The organisation in Bolton providing employability support is Bolton Solidarity Community Association (BSCA).
From previous employability programmes with young people in Greater Manchester, GMCVO have found that around 1/3rd of the young people on the programmes have needed and accessed mental health support.
Young people on the Hidden Talent programme have a mental health personal budget that they can use to access between 6 and 8 counselling sessions where appropriate.