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New support announced for care leavers at Carlisle College

Steven Salkeld, Interim Principal, Carlisle

CARE LEAVERS at Carlisle College will benefit from a new first-of-its-kind partnership between the Care Leaver Covenant and training and colleges group NCG.

As part of this pilot scheme, a Progression Coordinator will be based at the college, working with student services staff and helping them to identify, match and support care experienced students into Covenant employment and leisure opportunities.

This new partnership is aimed to support NCG to help care experienced students to take up the opportunities that are available to them by responding to the specific challenges they face, such as having no family support and entering education with no stable housing or income.

There are around 70,000 young people in care in the UK and approximately 10,000 leave care each year, becoming care leavers. The Care Leaver Covenant is funded by the Department for Education and tackles the disadvantages that young people aged 16-25 face when leaving care and helps them to live independently.

The Covenant works with a range of organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors to create tangible opportunities for care leavers, including employment, education and training, safety and security, health, financial independence and independent living.

As well as NCG, other signatories to the Care Leaver Covenant who have pledged to provide support for care leavers include Amazon, Barclays, Metro Bank, Superdry and e.on, with over 160 published offers on the Covenant’s bespoke app and website.

“This partnership demonstrates that NCG is willing to go the extra mile to support care leavers, having been early signatories and supporters of the Covenant,” said Matthew Gordon, Chief Executive of Spectra, delivery partner of the Care Leaver Covenant.

“As the first collaboration like this between a FE provider and the Covenant, we are excited to see how we can work together to benefit the care leavers at Carlisle College and support them to find the employment options through our network of signatories. These opportunities will enable them to achieve financial stability and be better prepared and supported to live independently.”

Steven Salkeld, Interim Principal, Carlisle College, said: “Our aim is to unlock the potential of every student that begins their journey with us, whatever their background, and it’s our duty to ensure that we teach them the skills so that they can enter employment after completing their studies.

“Students can face disadvantages when leaving care, so having a Progression Coordinator within our colleges means that we can have that additional focus on their needs and identify opportunities for them to get the training, jobs and experiences that can help them to thrive.”

For more information about the Care Leaver Covenant, visit www.mycovenant.org.uk.

Care leaver facts and stats

  • There are around 70,000 young people in care in the UK. Roughly ¾ predominantly in foster care and ¼ in Local Authority residential care.
  • Around 10,000 leave care each year, becoming care leavers.
  • Around 40% of care leavers aged 19-21 are NEET.
  • Only about 7% of care leavers begin university degrees.
  • Roughly 25% of the male and female prison population are care experienced.
  • Roughly 25% of the homeless population are care experienced.

The Care Leaver Covenant in action:

  • More than 200 organisations signed up to the Covenant, including Trowers & Hamlins, Barclays, Reed, Superdry, Amazon, ENGIE, PGL and Compass Group.
  • 1,000 plus opportunities created for care leavers.
  • 152 councils with Children Services departments to support the Covenant.

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