Scheme will help care leavers find jobs and training

Date published: 12 April 2019

Care leavers will receive help to find job or training opportunities as part of a Greater Manchester scheme backed by government funding.

The support network will be across all 10 districts of the city region with a team of mentors available for the young adults.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said the combined authority’s care leavers guarantee is a ‘significant step in the right direction’.

It sets out several priorities to help those coming out of the care system to live independently, achieve financial stability and receive better access to health support.

Council leaders last month approved the use of £550k of central government cash to fund to ‘kick-start’ the city-region’s plans.

“We know life as a care leaver can be hard. Without the safety nets so many of us take for granted, such as parental support, everyday living can be a struggle when faced with barriers most people never encounter,” Mr Burnham said.

The move comes after a majority of councils across the city-region increased the age care leavers are exempt from paying council tax from 21 to 25.

The combined authority’s guarantee is ‘underpinned’ by pledges such as ‘no care leavers will be made intentionally homeless’ and they will be able to access ‘clear, consistent education, employment and training offers’.

It has been produced in consultation with young people, officers said, and will go ‘much further’ than the national Care Leaver Covenant launched by central government last year.

Mr Burnham added: “I want Greater Manchester to act as the parents of all our care leavers – this guarantee is about our city-region’s bespoke system offering the support, encouragement and opportunities care leavers need.

“On my regular early morning rough sleeper walkabouts in Manchester city centre I meet too many people who have been through the care system. We have to do right by them and others like them who face their own challenges.”

The support network will be monitored by a new GM Care Leavers Trust Board.

Coun Rishi Shori, Greater Manchester lead on young people and leader of Bury council, said the scheme will ‘build on the experiences and strengths of each local authority’ and promote best practice across the city-region.

James Illingworth, Local Democracy Reporter

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