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Sharing our learning on engaging employers to support care experienced young people

4 Oct 2023

We were delighted to be asked to run a workshop at the “Improving Employability for Young People with Care Experience” national summit meeting on October 3rd, 2023. It was a real pleasure to spend time with so many positive people doing so much great work. Prior to our workshop we heard from a host of inspirational speakers, who shared key learning with us on:

  • Making apprenticeships work for care experienced young people
  • Learning arising from the evaluation of the care leavers social impact bond programme
  • Improving employability: Learning from National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum’s Peer Learning Programme

Key good practice arising from these presentations, included on the need to “believe” in care experience young people and allowing time to develop relationships, empathy and understanding.

Kieran Breen our CEO, picked up on this when he led a workshop on engaging employers. He highlighted how our:

#PowerToChange model is built on a belief, that there are no “silver bullets”, the key to effective work, is being willing to understand the complex issues young people face and to work creatively in partnership, with young people, business, public and community sector to overcome these issues and this takes time, commitment and a willingness to be agile and to adapt. The business sector is a key local resource, who can offer a lot of support to care experience young people, but for them to do that, you do need to proactively seek to build relationships with them and this might mean moving out of your professional comfort zone

Participants were very positive about this approach and shared:

I really liked the way you spoke about working without ego, silo or logo.

You are right about understanding how care experience young people “yoyo” through positive and bad times and progress is often a long hard slog, where they need ongoing support.

Really keen to speak with you to learn how we can go about building positive relationships with business community and engaging them in our work.

Seemed very appropriate to hear you talk about the willingness to learn from mistakes and being open to being agile and able to adapt to the needs of the young people.

The hundreds of people who attended the summit, felt inspired by the learning shared and felt the day did prove, there is a body of existing good practice we can build on. We are committed to continuing to develop our work with care experience young people and will seek to bring about systemic change both locally and nationally through our links with the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation care experience network..

For more info:

On how we support employers supporting care experience young people

Learning arising from the evaluation of the care leavers social impact bond programme

Key Messages Video from Care Experienced Apprentice Network

NLCBF Peer Learning Programme Report

Our #PowerToChange model