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Care Leavers: Employment

Volume 652: debated on Monday 7 January 2019

The Government are committed to supporting care leavers. We have introduced a £1,000 bursary for those starting an apprenticeship and a £2,000 bursary for those going into higher education, extended paid internship opportunities across Government and launched the care leaver covenant. We are also working closely with Barnardo’s on an innovative work experience pilot.

Care leavers are some of the most difficult people to get into employment. Social workers are helping with that transition through projects such as Staying Close and Staying Put, but what particular outreach support can the Department deliver to improve the statistics, which do not look good?

I know that my right hon. Friend worked tirelessly on this when he was a Minister in the Department for Education. We have 900 single points of contact who are supporting care leavers across the country. We are also working with a lot of businesses so that they can realise the huge potential that care leavers offer. I had two fantastic visits, to the Big House in London and PGL, which I saw at first hand were benefiting from giving care leavers work opportunities.