From education to employment

Care Leaver Covenant and college group NCG work to support care leavers in its colleges

Liz Bromley, Chief Executive Officer of NCG

CARE LEAVERS across the country will benefit from a new first-of-its-kind partnership between the Care Leaver Covenant (@CareLeaverCov) and NCG (@NCG_Official), one of the largest not-for-profit education groups in the UK.

The Care Leaver Covenant is a promise made by private, public or voluntary organisations to provide support for care leavers aged 16-25 to help them to live independently.

  This new partnership is aimed to support NCG to help care experienced students to take up the opportunities that are available to them by responding to the specific challenges they face, such as having no family support and entering education with no stable housing or income.

Funded by the Department of Education, the Covenant tackles the disadvantages that young people aged 16-25 face when leaving care and helps them to live independently. There are around 70,000 young people in care in the UK and approximately 10,000 leave care each year, becoming care leavers.

NCG has seven colleges across the UK that offer a wide variety of courses from basic skills to Masters degrees, and is working in partnership with employers and businesses to create employment opportunities for thousands of young people every year.

Three Progression Coordinators from Spectra, the social value agency that delivers the Covenant, will work across NCG colleges in Carlisle, Kidderminster, Lewisham, Newcastle, Southwark and West Lancashire as part of this pilot scheme.

These care leaver champions within the NCG network will be the first of their kind, working with student services staff and helping them to identify, match and support students into Covenant employment and leisure opportunities.

“This partnership demonstrates that NCG is willing to go the extra mile to support care leavers, having been early signatories and supporters of the Covenant,” said Matthew Gordon, Chief Executive of Spectra, delivery partner of the Care Leaver Covenant.

“As the first collaboration like this between a FE provider and the Covenant, we are excited to see how we can work together to benefit the care leaver community at these colleges and support them to find the employment options through our network of signatories. These opportunities will enable them to achieve financial stability and be better prepared and supported to live independently.”

Liz Bromley, Chief Executive Officer of NCG said:

“At NCG we strive to deliver exceptional teaching, learner experience and outcomes for all, so we’re delighted to partner with Care Leaver Covenant on this important new scheme to help care leavers.

“Having Covenant Progression Coordinators within our colleges means that we can have that additional focus on the needs of our care leavers to identify opportunities for them to get the training, jobs and experiences that can help them to thrive.”

The Care Leaver Covenant works with a range of organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors, who sign up to the Covenant, and tangible opportunities for care leavers are created, including employment, education and training, safety and security, health, financial independence and independent living.

Care leaver facts and stats

  • There are around 70,000 young people in care in the UK. Roughly ¾ predominantly in foster care and ¼ in Local Authority residential care.
  • Around 10,000 leave care each year, becoming care leavers.
  • Around 40% of care leavers aged 19-21 are NEET.
  • Only about 7% of care leavers begin university degrees.
  • Roughly 25% of the male and female prison population are care experienced.
  • Roughly 25% of the homeless population are care experienced.

The Care Leaver Covenant in action:

  • More than 200 organisations signed up to the Covenant, including Trowers & Hamlins, Barclays, Reed, Superdry, Amazon, ENGIE, PGL and Compass Group.
  • 1,000 plus opportunities created for care leavers.
  • 152 councils with Children Services departments to support the Covenant.

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