Care Leavers: Employment

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th November 2018.

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Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley 12:00 am, 19th November 2018

What recent steps the Government have taken to support care leavers into employment.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

This Government are committed to supporting care leavers. We have introduced a £1,000 bursary to those starting an apprenticeship, extended paid internship opportunities across Government, launched a care leaver covenant and are upskilling our Jobcentre Plus staff.

Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley

What work is the Minister doing with Barnardo’s, and what impact is the See Potential programme having?

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to my right hon. Friend Ms McVey, who made it a personal priority of hers to introduce Barnardo’s not only to help train and improve the guidance for all of our frontline staff, but to offer a comprehensive work experience programme and opportunities for care leavers. This is a vital part of our See Potential work, as we unlock their undoubted potential.

Photo of Melanie Onn Melanie Onn Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government) (Housing)

What more can be done for constituents such as mine living in YMCA properties who are still going to college, yet cannot afford the bus fare or to feed themselves? That is exactly what has happened to a constituent of mine.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

We are looking very carefully at all of the ways that we can make sure care leavers have the same opportunities that others take for granted. For example, through second chance learning, care leavers aged 18 to 22 are still able to access full benefits while having a second opportunity to learn. There is the £1,000 bursary for those who choose an apprenticeship, and the £2,000 bursary for those who choose higher education.