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Care leaversSupport into work

Catch22 and John Lewis Foundation launch new programme to support care experienced young people in Manchester

A young man walks down a busy city street. He smiles at the camera.

Almost half of care experienced young people (CEYP) in Manchester can’t find work after leaving the system, a recent report has revealed. A statistic The Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee has described as ‘awful’.

Today, Catch22 and John Lewis Foundation announce their new partnership, looking to address this challenge head on, supporting CEYP in Manchester to move into long-term, sustainable employment. Career Hive, a three year programme delivered by Catch22, will support local CEYP with training and education opportunities, employment guidance, and wrap-around well-being support.

The programme has been built around the core mission of building strong and trusted relationships with each CEYP; supporting them with job opportunities and providing in-work support once they have secured employment. Crucially, the programme will coordinate and advocate for all of their support needs with the key stakeholders involved in their lives – most notably their Local Authority Personal Advisor and their employer.

Catch22 has extensive experience working with CEYP across all of our services. We also run the National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum (NLCBF), a network of over 140 local authorities promoting the development of quality leaving care services with member authorities and partner organisations through a process of benchmarking and shared learning on a national scale.

John Lewis Foundation have a made a clear commitment to do more to empower care leavers to thrive, both advocating to raise awareness of the inequalities faced by those who are care experienced, and working to be the employer of choice for care experienced young people in the UK.

Nicola Waller, John Lewis Foundation Trustee said:

“The John Lewis Foundation is proud to be funding Career Hive, Catch22’s project supporting care experienced young people in Manchester to move into long term sustainable employment.

Our long-term ambition is to become the employer of choice for people who are care experienced. Through our Building Happier Futures programme, we’re focused on amplifying their voices, changing public perceptions, donating both time and money, and crucially – improving access to jobs and education.”

Victoria Head, Strategic Director of Employability and Skills said:

“At Catch22 we work with CEYP across our services, we know and understand the challenges they face. Our partnership with John Lewis Foundation will help us to provide that critical relationship-based employability support and make a real difference to the lives of CEYP in Manchester.”