EY Foundation launches employability programme for care experienced young people

Young people charity, the EY Foundation, has launched a programme aiming to double the rate that care-experienced young people successfully move into employment, education or training. 

Delivered with headline partner the CareTech Foundation, the programme, called “Beyond Your Limits”, has been co- designed with the input of over eighty care experienced young people and employers to ensure it responds to the specific needs of the young people who take part. 

Specific innovations include:

  • Quality paid work experience that matches their interests and aspirations. 
  •  Long term progression support and a holistic approach which includes content tailored to the diverse needs and ambitions of young people in care. 
  • Core employability skills training and mentoring which EY Foundation has built a track record for delivering since the charity’s launch in 2014. 

Chloe, a young person from Hounslow, one of the care experienced young people who helped co-design the programme, said:

“I think programmes are definitely important for people in care and leaving care. There is a big stigma around care leavers and young people, there are not many opportunities presented to us. When people believe in you, that has a really big impact.”

Taking a pilot-based approach to develop learning and evolve the programme format, the first pilot in the London Borough of Hounslow will be followed by two further pilots, each delivered with the CareTech Foundation. The three-year partnership between the two charities aims to reach around 200 young people across the UK. The aim is to create a programme model that can be delivered in partnership with local authorities, employers and care-experienced young people.

Support for care experienced young people is required because of the significant barriers to achieving a good education and getting into work – a situation which will only get more difficult due to the impact of Covid-19. 14% of care experienced young people receive good passes in their GCSEs and at the age of 19 to 21, 40% are not in education, employment or training (NEET) – three times higher than their age group in the general population. The ambition is to half this to 20% for those taking part in the programme. 

Maryanne Matthews, CEO of the EY Foundation, said: 
“Action is urgently needed to ensure care experienced young people have the same opportunities to succeed as others in society. Beyond Your Limits will empower young people, develop their skills and introduce them to potential future employers. Working in partnership with the CareTech Foundation, we will unlock the potential of the young people we support.”

Jonathan Freeman, CareTech Foundation CEO said:
“CareTech Foundation is very proud to have been part of  Beyond Your Limits  since its inception.  CareTech plc staff and young people supported the programme development and we are thrilled to see it now launching in Hounslow with its first group of young people. The CareTech Foundation is committed to championing young people in care and we are excited to see this group, and many others thrive with the support offered.” 

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