Greater Manchester’s Hidden Talent update, three months in

GMCVO-led programme, Greater Manchester’s Hidden Talent, has now been delivering support to young people aged 16 - 24 for just under three months. In that time, we are really happy to share that 17 young people have been supported into employment and a further 19 into education or training by our Talent Coaches, based in community organisations across Greater Manchester. Currently there are 107* young people on the programme, of which:

  • 50% are ‘Hidden’, meaning, as well as not being in employment, education or training, they are not claiming any benefits.

  • 30% are neurodiverse (e.g. ADHD, Autism, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia)

  • 25% have a mental health condition 

  • 15% have experienced homelessness or are homeless  

  • 9% are ex-offenders

Our Talent Coaches are doing an incredible job providing holistic, one-to-one and personalised support to young people. We have found that young people are struggling with a lack of confidence; the prospect of finding and applying for work can be daunting, especially with often long and multi-staged recruitment processes, added to two years of the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic.   

Programme partners the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce are working with employers to raise awareness of Greater Manchester’s Hidden Talent and the qualities that young people can bring when they are given a chance. Later this month, we will be speaking about our programme at an upcoming online networking event held by the Chamber to share some of our learning and create links with employers. 

Our Youth Panel, supported by Greater Manchester Youth Network (GMYN), are meeting regularly to identify and tackle issues including accessing support from the Job Centre and employer recruitment processes. For example, Youth Panel members are currently reviewing the recruitment processes of GMYN to ensure they continue to be youth-friendly. They also seek to show the benefit that young people can bring to employers, and open up work experience opportunities for young people on the programme. Youth Panel members are working with the Chamber of Commerce to arrange work experience opportunties for young people on the programme. Going forward, the Youth Panel are looking to conduct visits to local Youth Hubs in Greater Manchester to assess their approach and offer.

The evaluation of the programme is underway, with researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University beginning to meet with our delivery partners, our central team at GMCVO and members of our advisory board to review the value of our approach in supporting young people.

We are also working with colleagues from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who are providing additional support to Greater Manchester’s Hidden Talent as a way of capturing our learning and finding out how to best support young people into employment and inform future government policy. They want to know how our project interacts with other government initiatives and provisions, and how our Talent Coaches support individuals to tackle their barriers to accessing skills and labour market opportunities.

We are also working closely with other youth employment programmes funded by the UK Governments Community Renewal Fund, including Ingeus’ programme, FutureYou, and One Manchester’s programme, Green Employment and Skills, which aims to create opportunities in the green economy.

For any queries regarding Greater Manchester’s Hidden Talent, please contact

Greater Manchester's Hidden Talent is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, and led by GMCVO.

The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.  It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit here.

*Correct as of 8th April 2022

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