Drive Forward Opportunities

Mentoring, it’s more than just Volunteering

Drive Forward’s Mentoring Programme has enabled countless care-experienced young people to sustain their employment, progress in their careers, and find success for themselves since 2016. We’ve seen that engaging in a professional mentoring relationship is often crucial to a young person (mentee) who wants to take charge of their professional as well as personal development.

For #NationalMentoringDay, we’re sharing Nahom’s journey with his mentor Joe Welton, Account Manager at Amazon Web Services.

The Key to Change: Work Placements

Care-experienced young people are one of the most vulnerable and overlooked groups in our society. Research has shown that educational attainment, levels of health and well-being and employment prospects are all significantly lower, whilst instances of homelessness or poor mental health are much higher. Despite youth unemployment rates having reduced, there is still an estimated 40% of young care-experienced people who are not in employment, education, or training.

Together with our partners, we are trying to change that by providing ring-fenced employment opportunities to enable these young people to move from care into a career of their own choice.

The Holistic Approach to Care

The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care report stated 5 missions. 1 of which was that “no young person should leave care without at least two loving relationships by 2027.”

Read how at Drive Forward, we focus on holistic care of our care-experienced young people offering everything from employment support, early intervention, and professional mentoring to counselling.

Between our staff, partners, mentors and supporters, we have always ensured stable and loving relationships surround our young people to enable them to thrive.

Boosting Careers: Latifah & the Civil Service Internship

“When I met Latifah, she was completing her degree whilst raising her daughter. Although her passion was and has always been theatre and performance, she was excited to hear about the Civil Service. Latifah told me how it was important for her as a care leaver to be represented in government and have access to these competitive opportunities that are difficult to get through mainstream recruitment.” – Heaven Teshome, Latifah’s Careers Manager

Choosing the career for you

The Civil Service Care Leaver Internship Scheme

The Civil Service Care Leaver Internship Scheme provides ring-fenced 12-month paid employment opportunities for care leavers aged 18-30 across the country. With no formal qualifications required, the scheme is a prime example of potential-based recruitment.

This extraordinary initiative has achieved great success with a simple model based around support.

Read more on the Civil Service and be inspired to create your own ring-fenced opportunity with the help of our team!

Creating Career Opportunities: The Civil Service

The Civil Service Care Leaver Internship Scheme provides ring-fenced 12-month paid employment opportunities for care leavers aged 18-30 across the country. With no formal qualifications required, the scheme is a prime example of potential-based recruitment.

This extraordinary initiative has come a long way since the first Drive Forward interns joined the Department for Culture, Media and Sports in 2016. The Civil Service Care Leaver Internship scheme has grown to offer some 500 ring-fenced opportunities to care-experienced young people across the UK annually. With the recent publication of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care calling for at least 3,500 new jobs or apprenticeships, we need more schemes like this! Read more about how you can start a similar scheme in your company!

Creating Opportunities inside the Film Industry

For Care Day 2022 the theme is “It takes a Village to Raise a Child,” and through our bespoke work placements, apprenticeships and mentoring opportunities, we wanted to showcase the wonderful talent of our care-experienced young people and how they flourish when they are in a supportive environment. Our partners and supporters are vital members of our village because they provide so many opportunities, offer their expertise and create a wider network of support for our care-experienced young people’s careers.

Read on to see how Kennington Film Studios approached us to create one such opportunity.

The Apprenticeship Experience

It’s National Apprenticeship Week 2022 and we’re sharing Joseph’s and Shazia’s experiences of their apprenticeships in Digital Marketing and Construction!

Apprenticeships are great opportunities for care-experienced young people because they provide real work experience and a chance to earn a qualification all whilst being paid!

“I chose to do an apprenticeship because it’s a great way to learn whilst actually doing the job. I get support from the Multiverse coaches who help me throughout the apprenticeship and I also get paid whilst learning. So, I thought it made sense to try out an apprenticeship because it’s a great alternative to university at this moment.” – Joseph

“Even though I still have to study, it’s a good opportunity and promises the career progression I need. I want to build my career to the level where I’m making a good living, being paid a good wage and I’m happy with where I am by 25. ”  – Shazia

Despite the amazing opportunities apprenticeships can have for care-experienced young people, too many are still not accessible. With low pay our young people often have to sacrifice career progression for the sake of making ends meet!

Read more to see how you can help change this!

Taking Advantage of the Advantage Programme

Care leavers are 38% more likely to drop out of university than their peers, and those who make it through the other end often find themselves standing at a cliffs edge with no support network to rely on as they try to navigate life after university. The Office for National Statistics estimates that almost one-third of British graduates move back in with their parents after graduation. Care-experienced graduates don’t have that option; they need to find the means to support themselves when it’s time to leave student halls. That’s where our Advantage Programme comes in; equipping them with the networks, skills, and confidence needed to compete on today’s graduate job market, our programme aims to enable those young people transition from university into a career of their own choice.

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