Care Leaver Covenant event coming up in February

Businesses in Warwickshire are being encouraged to give young people a pathway into employment - and perhaps help fill their own skills gaps at the same time - under a new Care Leaver Covenant initiative.

Details of the scheme, which is managed by Warwickshire County Council, will be unveiled at a Care Leaver Covenant event at Old Shire Hall, Warwick, on Friday 15th February (1pm-3.30pm).

All employers will be welcome at the event at which the guest speaker will be Nadhim Zahawi, Conservative MP for Stratford Upon Avon. Full details of the scheme will be given and some care-leavers will tell their stories.

The Care Leaver Covenant is a key policy contained in the ‘Keep on Caring’ policy document published by the Government in July 2016. The Covenant is a promise made by the private, public and voluntary sectors to provide support for care leavers aged 16-25 to help them to live independently.

They need that support. Forty per cent of care leavers aged 19 to 21 are not in education, employment or training (NEET), compared to 13 per cent for this age group overall.

Under the Care Leaver Covenant, businesses provide those leaving care with a different type of support and expertise from that provided by local authorities. In return, the employers can encourage and tap into the skills and commitment to build a career which many care leavers possess.

"Whilst there is overwhelming evidence that care leavers can find themselves at the ‘thin end of the wedge,’ we also have first-hand knowledge of many success stories," said John Coleman, Head of Children & Families for Warwickshire County Council. "These show how care leavers can overcome adversity and succeed in spite of their circumstances.

"The Care Leaver Covenant is a kite mark for organisations who want to celebrate their contribution to helping care leavers have a greater chance at success. Businesses have a huge role to play. Drawing on the resourcefulness and imagination of their staff and their working environment, they can offer real opportunities and a new way of thinking to aid the care leavers in moving forward successfully to the next phase of their lives."

Business which sign up will provide care leavers with opportunities to enter employment, such as work experience or shadowing placements, internships, traineeships and apprenticeships.

Such placements mean that care leavers will be better prepared to live independently and have improved access to employment, education and training. They will also experience stability in their lives, have improved access to health and emotional support and can achieve financial stability.

The Care Leavers Covenant Event for Local Businesses in Warwickshire will be held on Friday 15th February at Old Shire Hall, 5-9 Northgate St, Warwick CV43 4SP

To book a place event please email Charity Miller at charitymiller@warwickshire.gov.uk

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