Call to set aside apprenticeships for care leavers

18 August 2015

Leading charity Barnardo’s have called on the government to reserve thousands of apprenticeships for young people in England who are coming out of care.

Barnardo’s said that the move would represent less than 1 per cent of the three million places pledged in the last budget and point out the added challenges looked after children face. These figures urged them to send out a request to ministers to set aside a total of 20,000 apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds from the care system.

37 per cent of care leavers pass five GCSEs at grades A*-C in comparison to the national average of almost 64%. Barnardo’s say that care leavers entry to apprenticeships should then be based on their qualifications as well as their potential.

 “Young people leaving the care system have ambition and talents. They want to work, to be financially independent and contribute to the country’s economy.”

“But too often, care leavers find the door to employment is closed. Getting an apprenticeship and proving themselves in work can open up the door to a successful career instead of a dependence on benefits.” said Javed Khan, Barnardo’s chief executive.

According to the government’s care leaver strategy 2013, around 10,000 youngsters aged between 16 and 18 leave care in England every year. The strategy shows that there is a significant gap between the educational achievements of care leavers and those out of care.

In Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget in July, the government pledged that three million new apprenticeships would be created by 2020, which would be funded by a tax on large firms.

Barnardo’s wants to see these reserved for those coming out of the care system to redress some of the inequalities they face.

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