New charter aims to support young care leavers into work opportunities

A new charter, which makes it easier for organisations to offer employment opportunities to vulnerable young people leaving care, has been launched.

Organisations across the country are being urged to sign up to The Care Leaver Friendly Employer Charter, which has been developed by the Care Leaver Covenant in collaboration with recruitment specialists Penna.

Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi shared a message at the event attended by David Rutley, minister for welfare delivery, and business leaders including Sir Peter Bazalgette, chair of ITV and head of the Covenant’s Business Council.

The Business Council brings together senior business leaders, including Amazon, Compass and Penna who have signed up to the charter already. They are offering an ambassadorial helping hand within their respective sectors, helping young people access career opportunities.

The new charter sets out nine principles for employers to adopt and outlines key activities to work towards in recruitment, tracking and development, ensuring that care leavers are identified and supported.

Often care leavers are not able to access jobs in organisations that do not have tailored support for vulnerable employees, which the new charter aims to tackle.

Around 40% of care leavers aged 19 to 21 are in the NEET bracket – not in education, employment and training – compared with 12% of the wider population.

Early signatories to the Care Leaver Friendly Employer Charter also include the Adecco Group, of which Penna is part, with ambitions to reach 100 signatories.

Julie Towers, managing director of Penna and Stafford Long, said: “As a signatory to the Care Leaver Covenant, Penna and I are delighted to champion the new Charter and we will do everything possible to commend my clients and all employers to sign up.

“Who wouldn’t want to support young people who haven’t had the advantages of others in terms of parental guidance and support, and have had to navigate their future work life alone when leaving care?”

Businesses can sign up to the Care Leaver Friendly Employer Charter by visiting here.

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