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Care Leavers: Employment

Volume 649: debated on Monday 19 November 2018

This Government are committed to supporting care leavers. We have introduced a £1,000 bursary to those starting an apprenticeship, extended paid internship opportunities across Government, launched a care leaver covenant and are upskilling our Jobcentre Plus staff.

What work is the Minister doing with Barnardo’s, and what impact is the See Potential programme having?

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Ms McVey), who made it a personal priority of hers to introduce Barnardo’s not only to help train and improve the guidance for all of our frontline staff, but to offer a comprehensive work experience programme and opportunities for care leavers. This is a vital part of our See Potential work, as we unlock their undoubted potential.

What more can be done for constituents such as mine living in YMCA properties who are still going to college, yet cannot afford the bus fare or to feed themselves? That is exactly what has happened to a constituent of mine.

We are looking very carefully at all of the ways that we can make sure care leavers have the same opportunities that others take for granted. For example, through second chance learning, care leavers aged 18 to 22 are still able to access full benefits while having a second opportunity to learn. There is the £1,000 bursary for those who choose an apprenticeship, and the £2,000 bursary for those who choose higher education.