The Department has been working closely with Barnardo’s to develop and scope a pilot of voluntary work experience opportunities for care leavers in some of Barnardo’s high street shops. The objective of this pilot is to give young people independence within their communities and to support them to gain confidence and skills that will help them gain employment and create a better future for themselves.
The pilot is expected to run for 6 months, with individual placements lasting between 6-8 weeks. Barnardo’s have offered that those engaged in work experience will be able to enrol on a Level 2 training course with the Barnardo’s Volunteer Academy at any stage of their placement. They will also have the option to stay on as a volunteer once the placement has ended.
Participants will have a DWP Care Leaver Single Point of Contact, which is a work coach that leads on care leaver issues. Additional support will also be available in the form of a team of staff, including the claimant’s individual work coach and the care leaver’s Personal Adviser, based in the Local Authority care leaver team. The DWP’s National Employer and Partnership Team lead has arranged to meet the staff who will be involved in the pilot in each Jobcentre.
Care leavers will be given a work book to complete during their placement which will encompass feedback and a record of achievements. After the pilot, care leavers will review their progress with their work coach and update their CV. They will also work to agree the next step for them as individuals, for example further training, an apprenticeship or moving into work.