Council praises Government plan for young care leavers

By Jamie Hill - 13 November 2018


The Council has backed a Government scheme to support young people leaving care.

The Care Leaver Covenant, recently announced by Children’s and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi MP, aims to create 10,000 work opportunities over the next ten years helping young care leavers gain vital skills and experiences as they enter the jobs market.

Last year, Swindon joined a number of other towns across the country in giving those who have been in care as a child a council tax exemption.

And now councillors are hoping the Covenant will be another positive step towards helping care leavers in Swindon.

Councillor Mary Martin, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet Member for Children and School Attainment, said: “This is a brilliant scheme which I am sure will go a long way towards helping young people who have been in care.

“We all know how difficult it can be managing the transition to adulthood and in Swindon, we have a history of helping care leavers because we recognize the need to make this process as smooth as possible for those who haven’t always had the easiest start in life.

“I sincerely hope that many local employers will support this by offering work experience and employment opportunities to help our care leavers into careers.”

In addition to the private and voluntary sector offers of support, the package of help for care leavers includes 12 month internships from every Government department in Whitehall, resources to help care leavers manage their money, and support from universities by providing bursaries and accommodation.

Councillor Oliver Donachie, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “The Covenant will help care leavers navigate the work opportunities available and it will support them in fulfilling their ambitions.

“As a Council, we will look at how we can maximise the benefit of this national programme locally by providing the very best in education, employment and training.”

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