Children in care get employment boost

The hustings at Portsmouth College - from left:  David Carpenter (college governor), Gerald Vernon-Jackson (Lib Dems), Ian McCulloch (Green), Steve Fitzgerald (college teacher and chair), Stephen Morgan (Labour), Kevan Chippindall-Higgin (Ukip) and Penny Mordaunt (Cons)   Picture: Heather Eggelton

Parliamentary candidates grilled by students at Portsmouth College debate

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DOZENS of children across the region who have been in care will benefit from a government scheme to encourage employers to help them find work, training or further education.

The FromCare2Work programme attracted its 100th employer this week – Building contractor Breyer Group – which means it now provides more than 4,000 work placement opportunities for young people coming out of care.

Statistics show that in the area covered by Hampshire County Council just 6.6 per cent of pupils who had been in care for a year or longer achieved five A* to C graded GCSEs including English and maths, known as the ‘gold standard’ in 2011, compared with a national average of 58.6 per cent.

In Portsmouth, where just 15 children who sat GCSEs had been in care for more than a year, the number achieving the gold standard was too low to record.

Tim Loughton, children’s minister, said: ‘Leaving a foster placement or children’s home and stepping out into the adult world is understandably daunting for many young people.

‘It’s vital they get help to gain the skills and training they need.’

The Department for Education is providing £680,000 to the National Care Advisory Service from 2011-2013 to run the FromCare2Work programme.

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