Delivering a care leavers' strategy for traineeships and apprenticeships.

Document type
Centre for Social Justice
Date of publication
4 August 2016
Education and Skills, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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This paper sets out a series of policy recommendations to support the Government’s continued development of services for and support to care leavers, focusing particularly on traineeships and apprenticeships. The authors note that the minimum wage for an apprentice is £3.30/ hour, which is not enough to live on for care leavers even when
supplemented by Housing Benefit. They make the following recommendations:

  • allowing care leavers to retain their benefits during the first month
    of an apprenticeship; 
  • allowing care leavers to retain their Housing Benefit at the existing
    level for the first month of an apprenticeship or traineeship;
  •  extending ‘Staying Put’, the Government’s policy of allowing looked-after children to stay in foster care until the age of 21, to residential care leavers;
  •  using the Apprenticeship Levy to support care leaver apprentices;
  •  making it a requirement for every local authority to allocate ‘small sum discretionary funds’ for each care leaver; 
  • making higher education funding portable for 16–19-year-olds, allowing it to be used flexibly; 
  • using the ‘Barnet’ Hub model, or similar, in all local authorities to give holistic support to care leavers looking for employment; 
  • establishing a ‘Children in Care National Forum’ for local authorities, voluntary organisations and stakeholders; 
  • enhancing the role and status of personal advisers.

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