Talent Match programme aims to kick-start careers for youngsters in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 01:11 17 February 2014 | UPDATED: 01:11 17 February 2014

Leila Calton is the Talent Match youth advocate for Norwich.

Leila Calton is the Talent Match youth advocate for Norwich.


A new guidance programme has launched with the promise of kick-starting careers for young people in Norwich.

A Friend in Need

The Norwich Evening News and Voluntary Norfolk have teamed up for the award-winning A Friend in Need campaign.

It aims to increase the number of volunteer befrienders in Norwich, and make sure that no one in the city feels they have no one to turn to.

Community befrienders spend two hours a week with their client – a small commitment that can bring huge benefits to both parties.

Volunteers gain experience, improve their career prospects and learn new skills.

And, as Voluntary Norfolk’s team sees every day, when someone knows that they are being cared for, it breathes confidence into other areas of their life, leads to genuine friendships and – most importantly – can be a whole lot of fun.

If you want to find out more about volunteering as a befriender, call Voluntary Norfolk on 01603 614474, email or visit

Talent Match aims to identify the strengths and skills of 18 to 24-year-olds unemployed for more than 12 months, and help them into employment, education and training.

The programme has been funded by the Big Lottery and is being run in Norwich by the charity Voluntary Norfolk, who will works with young people one-to-one basis to identify their talents and help them overcome the barriers keeping them from employment or training.

Voluntary Norfolk will work with young people who feel alienated from the labour market, and link up with local employers to make their vacancies more user-friendly to young people – and improve success rates.

Leila Calton, Talent Match youth advocate for Norwich, said: “Talent Match doesn’t work with large groups or assume that everyone’s circumstances are the same, but offers face-to-face support on an individual basis. We can provide advice on a range of options, including help finding training and work experience placements on the route to employment.”

She said the scheme, for which the Prince’s Trust is the lead partner, would also support participants in employment, and make the most of Norwich’s “untapped talent”.

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, who is leading the Norwich for Jobs scheme which aims to halve youth unemployment in the city by next year, has also backed the scheme.

She said: “Talent Match is an exciting new scheme for Norwich, which brings lottery funding to bear on an important need.

“The success of Norwich for Jobs – which has got local firms to pledge nearly 900 jobs and apprenticeship places so far for young people – shows that there are jobs out there and that our community cares.”

To find out more, call 01603 883837 or email

Has Talent Match helped you already? Email

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