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Unemployed youngsters to tell business leaders about challenges of finding work

Young people across the Black Country will be able to tell business leaders first hand of their difficulties in trying to get a job when a conference focussing on youth unemployment takes place this week.

Aimed at local employers as well as government authorities, the No One Left Behind conference sets out to inspire, entice and equip individuals and organisations with the tools they need to get more youngsters into work.

The event, which starts at 9:30am at Copthorne Merry Hill this Friday (April 27), will provide a platform for young people to share their inspirational job seeking experiences.

It will also see the Black Country Talent Match project showcase its support for those aged 18 – 29 who have been out of work, training or education for six months or more.

The project and its partners offer additional support to help youngsters overcome specific barriers to employment.

The conference’s key note speech will be given by Dr Julie Nugent, director of productivity and skills at the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA):

“Tackling youth unemployment is a key priority for the WMCA.  We are keen to build on the fantastic work done by organisations like Talent Match – and to listen to young people so they can help shape our plans for employment and skills programmes across the region. We want more young people to benefit from the economic growth happening across the region. It’s really important that all communities can share in this success and that no-one is left behind.”

Kim Babb, project manager for Black Country Talent Match, added:

No One Left Behind is here to listen to the voice of young people who are at the heart of this project and share their inspirational stories far and wide. It seeks to bust the myths surrounding youth employment and provide a platform for young people in the areas of greatest need to share experiences with those with the capacity to make a difference. Some young people in the Black Country are living through challenging times and it’s important for us to galvanise all stakeholders to get involved, discuss what works and what doesn’t and proceed to tackle the problems.”

Other speakers at the conference include Kirsty McHugh, chief executive of Employment Relates Services Association (ERSA), Rose Rees, Midland Metro Alliance training and development manager, Professor Peter Wells, director of the Evaluation and Learning Contract for the Big Lottery Fund's Talent Match programme and Helen Scurr, managing director of Ark Consultancy.

The conference is sponsored by the Black Country Training Group (BCTG), Midland Metro Alliance and the University of Wolverhampton.

Further information about the conference and how to attend is available at

Picture Caption: Julie Nugent, WMCA’s director of productivity and skills


More information from Madalina Marincas – 01562 731788 / 07835 972689 – or Kim Babb – 01902 328973 -

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