Helping care leavers Step Forwards into work with confidence
This National Care Leavers’ Week (Monday 25 October to Sunday 31 October) the county council is launching its new Step Forwards employability programme.
The Step Forwards programme will support care leavers aged 16 to 25 to find employment, working closely with Gloucestershire’s Employment and Skills Hub.
According to the charity Become, some young people describe leaving care as like walking off a cliff edge. The theme of this year’s National Care Leavers’ Week is #WhatLeavingCareShouldBe which looks at how the lives of care leavers can be improved, today and in the future, so that no care leaver faces a ‘care cliff'.
To improve support for care leavers, the council has created a new dedicated Step Forwards job broker role which will help them to take their first steps into work, supporting them to gain and sustain employment.
The job broker who will be part of the council’s Forwards employability team, will work with young people to explore all available job opportunities to find the right one for them. Support provided will include one to one help with preparing CVs, interview training and sourcing work placements.
Abie Buffin is the council’s first Step Forwards job broker. Abie has personal experience of being in care, so is well placed to understand the challenges which young people face and able to support them to develop skills and increase their confidence.
Cllr Philip Robinson cabinet member for economy, education and skills, said: “Leaving care should be a safe experience for young people, one in which they feel supported, confident and ready for the future. We know from listening to our care ambassadors that having a job makes a massive difference to them at a time when they are learning to live independently.
“That’s why we want to do all we can to make sure that care leavers are well supported and able to confidently take their first steps towards a fulfilling career. The Step Forwards job broker will work closely with our leaving care service so that young people who need support to find a job will be able to access it at the earliest opportunity.”
Requests for employability support can be made at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/employment-and-skills-hub