Opinion Former Article

Big Lottery Fund: £100m talent match scheme targets youth unemployment crisis

The Big Lottery Fund is today (Tuesday) launching Talent Match, an ambitious £100 million investment aimed at tackling youth unemployment in areas of England hardest hit by the economic downturn.

The ACEVO Commission on Youth Unemployment has estimated that the issue will cost £10.7bn in lost output during 2012 alone.

With this in mind, The Big Lottery Fund, which distributes good causes money on behalf of the National Lottery, has been working with young people themselves to plan ways of helping thousands of others just like them to lead fulfilling lives through employment and training.

Their hard work and research has lead to Talent Match, an investment that will target 21 hotspots across England where those aged 18-24 are finding it hardest to secure jobs or training opportunities.

Talent Match will put charities at the heart of local partnerships established between councils, charities, employers, and colleges to work up proposals on how they will best use lottery funding to help match the talents of young people in their hotspot with the skills and opportunity of the future.

Nat Sloane, England Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “The Big Lottery Fund has a long history of investing in young people but this is one of the most ambitious programmes we have undertaken.

“With the help of our young advisors, Talent Match can have a huge impact on the youth unemployment problem threatening to consign a generation of people to the career scrapheap when they have so much to offer.

“I am positive that Talent Match, and what we learn from it, will provide the evidence the country needs to help many more young people more effectively in the future.”

Jenna Young, 22, is from Knowsley near Liverpool and has been working as a member of BIG’s Young People Investment Team. She said: “I can’t wait to see Talent Match up and running and I’m proud to have been part of it. I’m looking forward to going on Twitter or Facebook and seeing all sorts of great stories about how people have found jobs or training opportunities thanks to a lottery scheme that young people have created.”

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888

Out of hours media contact: 07867 500 572

Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Ask BIG a question here: https://ask.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Follow BIG on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BigLotteryFund #BIGlf

Find BIG on facebook: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFund

Notes to Editors

Members of BIG’s young advisor panel are available for interview along with senior spokespeople.

Video endorsements of Talent Match from the Work Foundation, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and the Rt Hon David Miliband MP, who chaired the Acevo Commission on Youth Unemployment, are available from the press office.

The 21 areas in England where investments will be made are:

The Black Country (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton)

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

Coventry and Warwickshire

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

Greater Birmingham and Solihull

Greater Lincolnshire

Greater Manchester


Leeds City Region

Leicester and Leicestershire

Liverpool City Region


New Anglia

North Eastern


Sheffield City Region

South East

Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire

Tees Valley

Hereford, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin


The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since June 2004 BIG has awarded over £4.4bn.
The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £28 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

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