Civil Service kick-off

Introduced in 2016, the Civil Service Care Leavers Internship Scheme saw 17 Departments offering ring-fenced opportunities to care-experienced people across the country in 2019.

We are very happy and proud that 33 young people working with Drive Forward have been successful with their applications; that represents over 20% of all the openings available! Over the next couple of weeks, they will join different Departments ranging from the Department for Education to the foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Going into a new working environment, especially such an established one as the Civil Service can be very daunting and we recognise that many of our young people were probably unsure what to expect.

We wanted to support them as best we could, so that they felt prepared and ready for this new chapter in their lives. On 27th February at the Department of Culture Media and Sport, Drive Forward Foundation ran an interactive session with senior people from the Civil Service who have helped put this scheme together, above all Tracy Lee, Communications Director at DCMS and a committed Trustee of Drive Forward Foundation. It was particularly interesting to hear from young people who came onto the scheme last year as they are in the prime position to give some insight as to what it is like to begin working in the different departments.

Drive Forward have actually supported me since I was in my first year at university, up until now that I’m a civil servant. Big transformation.”

Abu, 24

The session allowed attendees to throw all kinds of open questions into the room and gain useful answers. From the most basic questions around dress codes and lunch hours, to more complex ones like whether they should tell managers and colleagues about their background or not.

In addition, we introduced attendees to the Drive Forward Mentoring scheme, offering each individual the opportunity to meet with a professional and trained mentor on a regular basis. Having run this scheme for the past 5 years, we recognise the value our mentors bring to the young people working with us, supporting them integrating and developing in the workplace and ultimately furthering their career progression.

You have this doubt most of the time. Can I really do it? Because of all the struggle… and Drive Forward have just created a platform that make you really comfortable and empowers you.

Kadiatu, 26

It was a lively, comforting, and congratulatory evening with of course lots of pizza!

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