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Young Care Leavers are Missing Out on Apprenticeship Opportunities
December 9, 2019
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Young care leavers are missing out on apprenticeship opportunities as experts warned they are not receiving adequate support to transition into sustainable careers.

The Children’s Society and Catch 22 are calling for more changes to the apprenticeship levy to encourage this underserved group into work and help care leavers see apprenticeships as a financially viable opportunity.

The latest Department for Education figures show 39 per cent of care leavers aged 19-21 are not in employment, education or training, compared to 12 per cent of those in the same age group.

At the launch event yesterday the charities launched their new Bright Light programme.

The pilot, funded by The Clothworkers’ Foundation, will offer holistic and tailored support to London’s young care leavers to help them into apprenticeships, employment or further education.

Emma Allix, Catch22’s Programme Manager for Bright Light, says:

“It is vital that employers are understanding of the personal barriers these young people face, and that they offer effective long-term support. We all have a responsibility to be better corporate parents to care leavers, and with the additional help with transport costs, training, or just improving access, we can change these young peoples’ lives. By offering this support to these young people, employers will see loyal, motivated employees, likely to build a long-term career with their organisation.

“We want those who contribute to the apprenticeship levy to dedicate half their expenditure to those under 30. It is equally important that employers are supported and encouraged to take on apprentices too.”

Peter Grigg, External Affairs Director at The Children’s Society, adds: 

“We know through our work that care leavers face a myriad of issues when looking to their future. They have not had the parental guidance needed to navigate the world of job hunting nor will they have the financial backing to take up an apprenticeship that pays just £3.30 per hour. This low wage is simply not enough to live on. That is why we are calling on the first year apprenticeship rate to be brought in line with under 18 minimum wage. This additional money would remove some of the financial barriers and hopefully reduce the disproportionate number of care leavers not in education, employment or training.”

Bright Light will enable care leavers to achieve the best possible outcomes when transitioning from care into adulthood and employment. The course will provide one to one support for up to 18 months. Career coaches will help each individual build their confidence, to understand employer expectations, interview techniques, budgeting, the importance of time management and more.

Loveth Benson, a 22 year old from East London, is one of Bright Light’s first participants. Loveth is currently at university but was signposted to the course because of the struggles she has faced in trying to find a job.

Loveth explained:

“I was in care at 15 and lived with foster families, then at 17 I was living in semi-supported housing, which was quite regulated, so I wasn’t allowed to get a part-time job. When I could get a job, I didn’t know what to put on my CV, or how to even do one. I didn’t know how to write a personal statement or a cover letter, and there was no one to ask for help… no parents. This course is helping me to find out more about these things.”

Loveth hopes being part of Bright Light will help her achieve her dream career:

“I really want to be a social worker. Being in care, I met lots of young people with different issues and backgrounds, but all of them had no one they could ask for help… I want to be able to help them. I have only just started the course but we have already looked at jobs that can help me achieve my goals.”

How do you Attract Millennials to a Business?
December 9, 2019
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By 2020, Millennials will account for 35 per cent of the global workforce. Renowned for their propensity for smashed avocado and Instagram, they will soon be the most represented demographic on earth from a professional perspective.

So, what does a typical Millennial look for in a workplace? The modern employee is a different beast to previous decades, no longer motivated purely by the amount of their salary or the size of their company. Money and reputation are certainly still important, but there are other factors at play now.

Work-life balance

The ability to be fulfilled both at and away from work is not only a reality in 2017, it is highly sought after by employees and employers alike. Those at the top of businesses understand that productivity is directly linked with worker happiness and satisfaction, and the flexibility to adjust office hours and work remotely is highly valuable.

Company culture

Clocking out at five on the dot is a thing of the past for many businesses. Workplace culture is a crucial aspect that contributes to employees feeling valued and taking pride in their job. Friday afternoon drinks, celebrating company milestones and mentoring programs are all examples of developing company culture.

Office layout 

The physical nature of workplaces has changed drastically in the last decade, with Millennials renowned for their interest in the design, layout and amenities. Simply being open plan is no longer a distinguishable feature; young professionals are interested in everything from dedicated ‘chill zones’ with ping pong tables and edgy collaboration spaces, to wellbeing facilities and onsite baristas.

Career advancement

There is a perception that Millennials are not as loyal as previous generations given the shift from the old model of spending more than a decade at one organisation. To combat this high-turnover environment, businesses must demonstrate clear pathways for their employees to upskill and develop from a professional perspective.