Your employment as a care leaver

We want to help you achieve your potential, developing your skills and building experience through employment opportunities.

Your personal adviser (PA) will be able to support you to find employment opportunities and will provide any information about benefit entitlements. You will talk about employment and write your goals into your pathway plan. If you're not sure what you want to do, then the National Careers Service website is a good place to start. It has job profiles, telling you how much you can earn in different roles, advice on the different stages of a job hunt, including how to improve your interview skills, write an effective CV and help to search for your first job.

If you need some help with writing a CV, you can find CV templates online. Don't worry if you don't have a lot of work experience, you can still reference things like any volunteering you have done, any hobbies or clubs you are part of and how they have helped you to develop skills.

If you have a Jobcentre work coach, they can help you find suitable job opportunities and to claim benefits if eligible. You can also receive up to £100 for one set of clothing suitable for interviews. Speak to your work coach for more information.

There are lots of different job search sites online. Below are just a few that you may wish to have a look at:

You can find some of the financial support available to you here if you are in employment. Speak to your PA as well to find out exactly what support you can get from the Care Leavers' Service (CLS).

Interview preparation

If you have a job interview, there are lots of interview tips online but make sure you tell your PA. They'd be happy to run through some questions with you and help you get ready for your interview.

Some of the things you will want to consider are:

  • making sure you dress appropriately - first impressions count so make sure you are dressed smartly
  • making sure you arrive in good time - allow yourself plenty of time to get to the interview to ensure that you aren't late
  • researching the company in advance - this will show that you have taken a genuine interest in the job you are applying for and have used your initiative to find out more
  • thinking about possible interview questions and the answers you would give - think about the skills you need for the role and examples of how you have used these in the past.

The Leaving Care Service now use a CV toolkit to help PA's support you to develop and update your CV. Speak to your PA if you want support to create an impressive CV.


A traineeship is an education and training programme with work experience. It allows you to develop your skills and gain qualifications, including English and Maths for those who need it, whilst benefitting from high quality work experience. Traineeships can last from 6 weeks to 6 months and are an ideal stepping stone into an Apprenticeship. Traineeships are not paid, but the costs of travel and meals may be supported by the training provider or employer.

You can find out more about traineeships and search live vacancies within Surrey via the Find a Traineeship Service website.


Volunteering can be a great way to build your skills and meet new people. If you are interested in working in a particular area but don't have the experience of doing so, then volunteering can really help you gain the experience you're missing. For example, if you really want to work with animals then you may find there are volunteering opportunities at your local animal shelter that you can help with.

There are a number of digital platforms such as or Vinspired that can connect you with suitable volunteering opportunities.

There are also a number of local volunteering organisations that support each of the boroughs in Surrey. You may wish to contact them to find out what opportunities they have available.

The Care Leaver Covenant

The Care Leaver Covenant is a promise made by private, public or voluntary organisations to provide support for care leavers aged 16-25 to help them to live independently.

Its a national scheme which Surrey signed up to in April 2022. The aim of the Care Leaver Covenant is to provide extra support for care leavers to live independent lives and for local authorities to create opportunities for care leavers from across the council and its partners.

Connects is a tool for care leavers to stay informed with all that the Covenant has to offer. Sign up to Connects to receive updates on relevant work, education and leisure opportunities as well as information about support you may be able to access. It can match you to meaningful opportunities and also to stay in touch with anyone who is supporting you in to employment. Connects sends opportunities relevant to your interests and ambitions and automatically enters you to win prizes in their monthly give-aways. You can download the app too.

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