The four Black Country Councils came together in 2014 and began work on developing a new approach that supports young people into employment, education and training. The councils were quickly joined by Black Country Talent Match, a project led by Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council and funded through the Big Lottery. Together the partnership has succeeded in gaining approval from Department of Work and Pensions for £34 million of new European Union funding, matched by £8 million from the Big Lottery Fund and further funding from partners to create a £51 million Impact programme.
The funders backing the Black Country Impact project are the European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative, as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England, and the Big Lottery Fund which has provided “match” funding through its financing of Black Country Talent Match.
The projects strength is its individualised approach and alternative delivery, which simply put gives young adults across the Black Country the most flexible and personalised learning and support possible to overcome barriers to employment.