13 June 2013

Apprenticeships for care leavers in Brighton & Hove

Five apprenticeships will be reserved for young care leavers in Brighton & Hove as part of a package of support to help make the often difficult transition to adult life.

Proposals being considered by Brighton & Hove City Council Policy & Resources Committee today will help improve opportunities for care leavers.
The move follows consultation with young people both in care and who have left care on what the council and its partners could provide to boost employment and pre-employment opportunities. Foster carers, residential care providers, social workers and personal advisers have also been consulted.
The young care leavers will be guaranteed an interview where it’s been identified that they meet the required standards.

BHCC aims to provide work placements and apprenticeships for an average of 70 young people aged 16-19 years each year over the next 3 years.  All key council services now offer work experience and taster days. Placements are underway across the council for young people in care and leaving care.

Each young person in care post-16 and all care leavers can now have a Personal Opportunities Plan developed in partnership with the individual highlighting any obstacles in accessing employment and training. The plan will also detail the tailored support package.

Two advice posts within BHCC’s 16 Plus Support Team have been set up to provide specialist assistance including help with CV’s and job applications, interview preparation and practice, identifying future choices and building confidence and motivation. These posts also provide targeted advice and guidance support to young people in care and care leavers not in education, employment or training (NEET), supporting and engaging them in exploring their post-16 options.

Financial assistance is also guaranteed to assist care leavers with apprenticeship and work placement associated expenses such as travel costs, interview and/or work clothing. Assistance can also be provided to enable young people to reach the desired entry level requirements for apprenticeships where they fall short of these.

Penny Thompson, Brighton & Hove City Council chief executive, said:
"The decisions young people make between 16 and 21 years have a huge impact on their future lives. We want to support young people to make a successful transition to independent living, helping them to meet their potential, achieve their abilities, hopes and aspirations.”

For more information visit Brighton & Hove City Council's Youth Service, e-mail youth@brighton-hove.gov.uk, or call 01273 294247.