We Nottingham City Council will demonstrate our commitment to the care leaver covenant through the following actions:
• Ensuring that care leavers continue to be given priority banding for social housing within Nottingham City.
• Providing care leavers outside of the labour market with additional help to renter education, training and employment through bespoke opportunities and intensive support to enhance their confidence, skills, qualifications and experience; via the Leaving Care Service’s in-house employability programme.
• Supporting our most vulnerable care leavers in receipt of DWP benefits to meet their claimant responsibilities e.g. engaging in activity that progressing them towards employment or training, via participation in the Leaving Care Service’s in-house employability programme (formally acknowledged by the DWP as a suitable preparatory intervention for care leavers).
• Committing to offer permanent jobs or apprenticeships within the City Council to at least 10% of care leavers and encourage further employment opportunities across the city
• Ensuring all care leavers who apply for apprenticeship vacancies within the council are guaranteed a first stage interview (pre-screening)
• Providing support workshops for care leavers to apply for apprenticeship vacancies within Nottingham City Council, including support with applications, interviews, employability skills and navigation through the recruitment process.
• Ensuring an agreed working protocol and strong communication between the Nottingham Apprenticeship Scheme, Apprentice Managers and Personal Advisors to support care leavers to sustain apprenticeships and employment with Nottingham City Council. Ensuring that issues are identified early and effective support can be provided quickly before they have a negative impact on attendance or progress e.g. supporting with housing, financial or social issues.
• Ensuring all care leavers on apprenticeships have the opportunity to benefit from additional review meetings (monthly for first 6 months and frequency thereafter agreed with the young person and apprentice manager). Standard HR reviews take place after months 1 and 6 for all NCC apprentices; however our analysis has shown that all previously unsuccessful apprenticeships for care leavers have broken down in the first 4 months. Implementing this has proven to be very successful with 100% of care leavers starting apprenticeships in September 2016 (when this support package launched) continuing to sustain apprenticeships 7 months on.
• Where a need is identified, care leavers on NCC apprenticeships can be released during working hours to access counselling, coaching and soft skill development support (provided via the Leaving Care Service’s employability programme)
• Ensuring care leavers have appropriate and additional pastoral support from FE providers.
• We will publicise our commitments on our education, training and employment Facebook page, setting out how we will seek to put them into practice; and inviting feedback from care leavers on their impact.