‘Blog by Victoria Odude, YPBMF Steering Group Rep – who hosted the ‘Improving Employability Event’ reflects on what she heard at the event.’
On the 3rd of October we held a care x apprenticeship network panel at the “Improving Employability Event” co-hosted by NLCBF and Esmee Fairbairn.
We had the pleasure of having members of the network on our care experienced panel with Toni McClelland, Digital Marketing and Events Officer for NLCBF, hosting and supporting them.
Their insights and experiences of what it is like to be a care experienced apprentice were very valuable. They explained the positives and negatives associated with being a care experienced apprentice along with what and how employers can do better to support them.
Each of them were amazing for sharing their insights and I know our audience received their message and took it with them.
Who was the event aimed at?
Our audience was filled with professionals from different boroughs, business owners and organisations.
We had the three women from the Department for Educations SIB’S project (Social Impact bond) ‘Frances Flaxington, Claire Davey and Megan Joyce shared the learning from the Department for Educations SIB’s projects (Social Impact Bond) including the findings on young people’s progress during their apprenticeship including attendance, reliability and suitability of the apprenticeship for the young person. It was great to hear the DfE’s input into supporting care experienced apprentices.
Conversations were had about some of the difficulties care experienced young people face when it comes to employment. How being a care leaver can sometimes affect employment due to our lives outside of it and difficulties that may arise. Employers finding or having the assumption that care leavers are unreliable is one of the stigmas we have to face. Life outside of education, employment or training comes with its struggles that employers may not be aware of.
Of course, Care leavers are more than capable of working and doing great things with their employment it’s just about having the right support and employers having the right knowledge.
What Are Some Solutions?
1. Having support around the young person – having someone to talk to or confide in both at work and outside of work. It’s about having the right support network working together with the young person to ensure they are supported.
2. Make sure that someone outside of work is supporting the young person – It can be daunting when it is just the young person faced with their employer. Although part of having a job is taking responsibility and being open, having to go into your personal life, explaining that you are a care leaver or having to talk about things that may be uncomfortable to share yourself with your employer is not easy to do. A person to help support you do this or mediate between the two would be helpful such as a P.A.
3. The whole community supporting care experienced young people – The care review recommends that we adapt the term ‘Community parenting’ rather than the currently used ‘Corporate parenting ‘There are many public services, businesses and frameworks that have added benefits of developing new ways of working across leaving care services.
I agree it would be beneficial to have multiple people supporting to achieve better outcomes for everyone involved.
4. Employers need to be supported and need to be aware of what hiring a care leaver will look like – they need to understand what it means to be a care leaver and have the tools and ways of working so that they can avoid the need to avoid terminate employment.
Employers coming to webinars like this one, hearing from care experienced apprentices and working with employers that have existing or have had care experienced apprentices working for them will help and reduce care experienced young people being out of work.
Want to read more about this event? Here are two additional blogs we think you would enjoy:View Young Person's hub