More than 60 businesses have signed up to a new pledge to give care leavers a leg up into work.
Amazon, Rolls Royce and Barclays LifeSkills are among those which have signed up to the Care Leaver Covenant, launching today in Birmingham, offering internships, work placements and skills workshops.
Children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson, who famously set her Tracey Beaker novels in a care centre, has also added her backing to the project alongside children’s charity Barnardos. The aim is to create 10,000 work opportunities over the next 10 years to help care leavers bridge the gap from leaving the care system to having to fend from themselves and entering work.
We're excited to be officially launching today @ICC_Birmingham with host @GabbyLogan. We'll be joined by @nadhimzahawi@MKMRogers@ENGIE_UK@SaintGobainUK@TheGymGroup
— CL Covenant (@CareLeaverCov) October 26, 2018
Growing up in care can have an enormous impact on future prospects with 49 per cent of care leavers aged between 19 to 21 classed as not in education, employment or training (NEET) compared to 13 per cent for those growing up outside the system.
Care leavers are also at high risk of rough sleeping with Centrepoint research finding that 26 per cent of care leavers have sofa surfed and 14 per cent have slept rough since departing the system.