Introduced in 2016, the Civil Service Care Leaver Internship scheme has grown to offer some 500 ring-fenced job opportunities to care-experienced young people across the UK. It is the single biggest employment drive specifically for young people with a background in care and we are proud that our team at Drive Forward has been supporting young people into Civil Service roles since the very beginning.
The Civil Service Care Leaver Internship scheme is revolutionising recruitment and care of young talent. Why? Because it offers:
- A specific pathway for care-experienced young people to begin a career within government
- Line managers who care and understand the challenges care-experienced young people face and know how to support them
- A 12-month opportunity that teaches and develops essential skills that set up our young people for success throughout their professional career.
The young people working with Drive Forward are driven, ambitious, and in pursuit of their own individual goals and aspirations. So, with roles in 25 different professions such as legal, property, IT, or HR, the Civil Service internship scheme offers something for everyone.
Why we need more ring-fenced career opportunities
Recently, the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care acknowledged that there’s a need for at least 3,500 new well-paid jobs and apprenticeships annually specifically for care-experienced young people. Figures from the Department for Education show that 77% of children who have been in care were recorded as “claiming out of work benefits as their main activity in any of the first eight years post-secondary school, and 36% remained on benefits for at least four consecutive years, compared to 21% and 6% of all individuals respectively”. Furthermore, the percentage of care leavers being Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) has consistently been at around 40% over the past decade, compared to about 12% of other young people. Additionally, there’s a significant attainment and pay gap between care-experienced and non-care-experienced youth.
In short, care-experienced young people are much more likely to rely on benefits long-term and suffer from all the additional challenges associated with long-term unemployment. The only way to actively enable care-experienced young people to turn such prospects around is by creating more quality ring-fenced employment opportunities for them!
Breaking barriers to employment
The Civil Service Care Leaver Internship scheme does not require any prior qualifications or work experience. Care-experienced applicants are encouraged to use examples of experiences and skills acquired across all aspects of their lives. This can be demonstrating excellent communication and conflict resolution skills when standing up for their younger siblings in school, to effective prioritisation and project management skills gained throughout their experience of moving into independent living and furnishing a home on a limited budget.
If more employers were open to the same entry requirements like the Civil Service, they would benefit immensely from the resilience, hard work and drive that care-experienced young people have to make their careers a success.
Our work at Drive Forward
Drive Forward has been set up to enable care-experienced young people in London to achieve their full potential through sustainable and fulfilling employment. Since 2010, we’ve worked with over 100 businesses and employers, and supported over close to 3,000 young people into meaningful careers. One of the key aspects of our success is working with employment partners, committed to creating supportive, valuable and meaningful opportunities for our young people. Join Lloyds Bank, Superdrug, Baringa Partners, and American Express to share your expertise, resources and passion for change. Partner with us and create work placements and jobs that benefit you and our care-experienced young people.