Having been invited to take part a training course in the Netherlands entitled “talent development as a positive approach towards capacity building for youth (at risk) in order to prevent youth unemployment” in Spring of 2014; part of the application process was to describe my own experience in delivering programs to young people. As part of the course, which had participants from all over Europe, was the expressed desire to develop a framework using the term talent development. Unfortunately wasn’t able to attend the course, but straightaway I took sometime to unpack what I thought talent development meant to me. For me the term as opposed to social education or informal education expressed that one, the person who is engaged was acknowledged to have talent; and that part of having talent was to seek to develop the potential to turn that talent into something that benefited them moving forward.
So taking the thinking forward it became clear to me that talent development as a framework was something that would not only grab the attention of someone but a place the focus of the engagement on the client and the client’s developmental needs.
Further research into talent development as a concept, suggests it was and still is gaining significance as a learning and development framework with corporate organisations to harness change management and human resource development.
What I am concerned with is its application in youth and community settings. That is how it can be used to develop people who coming contact with local organisations/community groups/youth provision whose expressed role is to add more value to the clients they come in contact with.
Specifically working with groups from Black and Asian backgrounds who are seeking to develop the basis that they engage with young people I done some further thinking on how a talent development programme could focus on personal development, political education and enterprise empowerment as key elements, adding an understanding digital knowledge and skills in the workplace.
Having been asked to put together a program as part of the Croydon life centre proposal a community development initiative to take on a building being sold by Croydon council, I formulated a project outline which was easy to articulate, understand and made sense as a dynamic solution to some of the market and labour force challenges both locally and currently across the country.
By combining the concepts of shared value, collective impact and value creation, with talent development been a key element of the strategic thinking, we think we have something that can be used to mobilise the development of young people post 16+.