The Final Partner Breakfast of 2022

The Power of Partnerships

When employers join Drive Forward as partners, they not only join a passionate community committed to supporting care-experienced young people into sustainable work but gain access to exclusive networking and learning opportunities, like our Partner Breakfasts.

We hosted our final Partner Breakfast for 2022 during National Care Leavers’ Week. NCLW is an annual celebration of care-experienced people’s achievements as well as an opportunity to raise awareness and advocate for government and societal improvement.

Thus, NCLW offered an excellent opportunity to highlight how our community of employers champion care-experienced young people and to provide a platform for young people to share their stories, successes and future aspirations.

"I’m delighted that The Crown Estate is hosting Drive Forward Foundation Partner Breakfast today and especially as it is during Care Leavers' Week #NCLW22. It's a great way to share success stories and highlight what employers are doing to champion care-experienced young people within their workplaces."
Callum Simpson
National Skills and Training Partnerships Manager

Young People's Success

It was a privilege to hear from two of our care-experienced young people as they took centre stage sharing their experiences of moving from care into a career of their own choice.

Habtom, captivatingly told his life’s story and walked us through how he worked with Drive Forward to step into his chosen career. His proficiency and ambition led him to complete a 3-months internship with The Crown Estate’s Maritime Department, before he was offered a fulltime position as a Marine Programme Coordinator.

Abdullah then grabbed everybody’s attention as he emotively recalled his journey into the legal profession. He successfully completed a placement with our partners at ITRS, before gaining another one with A.S. Watson Group. We also learned on the day that Abdullah was successful in his application for a 12-months internship with the Civil Service!

Habtom’s and Abdullah’s stories moved and inspired the room, emphasising the power and potential each of us has to bring a care-experienced young person closer to their dream. Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not.

Employers who Care

Our CEO, Anton Babey, reminds us why our community is vital: 40% of care leavers are still not in employment, education, or training.

Our network of employers and partners all have one thing in common: the belief that young people, regardless of their background, deserve a chance to thrive at work and in their lives.

The Partner Breakfast provided a platform for some of them to share their experience, learnings, and future ambitions to enable more care-experienced young people to achieve their goals.

Executive Director for Purpose, Sustainability and Stakeholder at The Crown Estate

Judith Everett offered insight into the breadth of the business and its opportunities, highlighting the value of quality partnerships, like the one between Drive Forward and The Crown Estate, to make a lasting social impact.

Learning & Skills Partner at Thames Water

Leigh Maxfield spoke about their bespoke recruitment scheme to provide access to care-experienced young people as a way to further diversify their pool of talented candidates.

Department for Education’s Policy Advisor, Rob McPherson talked about the Civil Service Care Leaver Internship Scheme, and how it transformed their approach to recruiting new talent and their perspective on taking responsibility for care-experienced young people.

Philip Mills from the Care Leaver Covenant shared how organisations across the country are supporting care leavers into more meaningful work. Their Employer Charter provides guidance so that organisations can better support care leavers in their workplace.

Care Experience Specialist at John Lewis Partnership & Independent Panel Member

Finally, we heard from John Golding, Co-lead of the Care Experience Network at John Lewis Partnership. John Lewis Partnership has set the bar high with its ambition of becoming the employer for care-experienced young people! As someone who came to Drive Forward years ago as a young person looking for career guidance, John uses his own lived experience to empower young people from care to join JLP.

Picture of Anton Babey

Anton Babey

“We're very excited to be working with John Lewis Partnership to enable more care-experienced young people to build successful careers. A group of young people has already gone through a specifically developed inclusive recruitment process and we expect some of them to start their roles soon. We're confident that there will be many more to follow in their steps in the coming years.”

Why we do this

With the Independent Care Review calling for at least 3,500 new jobs and apprenticeships for care-experienced people annually, it is vital to foster communities like this to make this goal possible.

Get Involved!

Every partner has something to offer care-experienced young people; from training and mentoring, to bespoke work opportunities. We would love to hear your ideas and work together to enable care-experienced young people in London to thrive.

A big thank you to The Crown Estate for hosting this event and for looking after us so well!

We are looking for partners to host our 2023 networking events:

  • Tuesday June 27, 2023 – 2nd Quarter Partner Networking Breakfast  
  • Tuesday September 26, 2023 – 3rd Quarter Partner Networking Breakfast

Get in touch below to host an event or to chat with our Partnerships Team on how you can further support care-experienced young people into sustainable and fulfilling employment today.

Create A Work Placement with Us!

Drive Forward is ready to help any employer open their doors to talented care-experienced young people and see how much change they can inspire for you!

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