Care leavers consider career and college options

Care leavers consider career and college options

Conservative-led Wiltshire Council hosted an event to help young people in care find out more about their career and education options when they turn 16.

The event at Trowbridge Civic Centre put a group of about 30 teenagers and their carers in touch with employers and colleges.

It also offered advice on finance.

Among the organisations attending were Wiltshire College, the National Citizen Service, the Army, University of Bath, car repair firm MG Cannon and Goughs Solicitors.

Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council's Conservativ cabinet member for children's services, said:

We do all we can to support young people in care.

This occasion brought together so much advice and guidance in one place, and it was a brilliant chance for young people to think about their options after GCSEs, including Wiltshire Council apprenticeships.

One care leaver who is now an apprentice at the council said:

I have worked in various roles since finishing college, in a hardware store, a care company and as a chef. But since joining Wiltshire Council I feel so supported and nothing is too much trouble.

I thought I wouldn't get an interview for the role as I didn't have the maths qualification needed but Wiltshire College supported me in this.

I will receive a £1,000 grant as a care leaver on an apprenticeship and at the end of my course I will have a full-time job that was really a bonus for me. This is the first step for me into a career in childcare.

As a care leaver in Wiltshire I am exempt from paying Council Tax until I am 25, which really helps me manage my money as I live alone.

To those who are considering an apprenticeship I would say go for it!

Juliet Harris from MG Cannon talked to the teenagers about apprenticeships in the automotive industry. She said:

Apprenticeships are vital for us. We need younger people with fresh ideas and lots of enthusiasm.

by Hollis Butler,