Unemployed youngsters in the West Midlands are to see their talents get financial backing thanks to a £100 million investment from the Big Lottery Fund.

Big Lottery has launched Talent Match, an initiative aiming to tackle youth unemployment among 18-24-year-olds in 21 hotspots across England.

The organisation, which distributes good causes money on behalf of the National Lottery, worked alongside youngsters to help support them into employment and training opportunities.

The initiative will involve charities, local councils, employers, and colleges working together to draw up proposals on how they will use funding to match young peoples’ talents with skills and opportunities.

Nat Sloane, England chairman of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “The Big Lottery Fund has a long history of investing in young people but this is one of the most ambitious programmes we have undertaken.

“With the help of our young advisors, Talent Match can have a huge impact on the youth unemployment problem threatening to consign a generation of people to the career scrapheap when they have so much to offer.

“I am positive that Talent Match, and what we learn from it, will provide the evidence the country needs to help many more young people more effectively in the future.”

The initiative will support young people in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Cornwall, Isles of Scilly, Coventry, Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Greater Birmingham, Solihull, Greater Lincolnshire, Greater Manchester, Humber, and Leeds City Region.

The scheme also operates in Leicester, Leicestershire, Liverpool City Region, London, New Anglia, North Eastern, Northamptonshire, Sheffield City Region, the South East, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, Tees Valley, Hereford, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, and Worcestershire.