Breaking down barriers to learning and work for young adult carers – Carers Week 2016

6 June 2016

To mark the start of Carers Week 2016, Learning and Work Institute is launching a series of resources developed through its successful ‘WE Care’ project. During the last three years we’ve engaged over one hundred young adult carers in shaping and driving our work.

Young adult carers have told us:

  • that they want opportunities to learn, gain skills and build careers – just like other young people;
  • that caring puts them under huge amounts of pressure, which can be difficult to juggle alongside college or a job;
  • that learning providers and employers often don’t understand the challenges they face;
  • that they need support, flexibility and understanding.

Young adult carers make a huge contribution to our society – they provide over £5.5 billion in unpaid care per year. Yet they’re three times as likely to be NEET as other young people, on average achieve 9 lower GCSE grades and 45% report a mental health difficulty. We think this needs to change. We believe that young people should be protected from the negative impact of caring and that they deserve flexible and tailored opportunities to learn, work and achieve their potential.

The focus of this year’s Carers Week campaign is ‘building carer friendly communities’ –  the resources we’re launching this week are designed to do just this.

Click here to download the free awareness raising materials we’ve produced and our resources for employers, learning providers and carers services. Through WE Care we’ve also ran training sessions, webinars and a national event; facilitated local networks; and produced a resource for young adult carers themselves.

Young adult carers’ voices and views are at the centre of our work. Every day this week we’ll be publishing a blog – continue visiting our website to hear about young adult carers’ experiences and how they can be supported to overcome the challenges they face.

To find out more about L&W’s work with young adult carers e-mail