A children’s charity is calling on the government to make 20,000 available places in England to help the thousands of young people who are being looked after by the state
Barnardo’s, said this would give those who are being looked after by the state the opportunity to get on the job ladder as unemployment figures show they are twice as likely as others to be not in education, work or training.
This follows the Government’s Summer Budget pledge to create three million new apprenticeships by 2020, funded by a tax on large firms as currently two in five existing places go to people already in work.
Javed Khan, Chief executive said: “Young people leaving the care system have ambition and talents. They want to work, to be financially independent and contribute to the country’s economy.
“But too often, care leavers find the door to employment is closed. Getting an apprenticeship and proving themselves in work can open up the door to a successful career instead of a dependence on benefits. Young people are the future of Britain’s economy. They must be invested in and given the right support to get into work.”
According to the care leaver strategy 2013, around 10,000 young people leave care in England every year. The strategy stated that how many leave home at a younger age and have more abrupt transitions to adulthood than their peers, and found that the quality of support care leavers receive was patchy.
A Department for Education spokesman said it was “improving the lives of care leavers and helping them make a successful transition to adulthood.”
“A good apprenticeship can help support this, and that is why we’re fully funding apprenticeships’ training for eligible care leavers aged 19-23.
“We have also changed the law so young people can live with their foster family after they turn 18, and given every child who leaves care a Personal Adviser. We are also investing over £100 million through the Innovation Programme to support vulnerable children.”