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Jobs, apprenticeships and volunteering for care leavers

Can you help me to get a job?

Yes, Your PA will talk to you 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 technique and write an effective CV and help to search for your first job. If you need some help with writing a CV, then you may find these CV templates of help. 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.

Other job search sites that you may wish to have a look at include:

We also run a mentoring scheme called Finding Your Feet where you can be paired up with a mentor who has a skills, trade or professional background. Talk to your PA if you would like to apply.

I've got an interview, any advice?

Well done, there are lots of interview tips online but make sure you tell your social worker or 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

What's an apprenticeship and can you help me get one?

Apprenticeships allow you to earn a salary whilst studying for a nationally recognised qualification and getting 'on the job' training. It's a way to gain experience, strengthen your CV and build your career. There is a wide range of apprenticeships available to suit every skill and passion and the training provider will offer support for any additional needs. It's a different way of learning compared to college or university, and you have the opportunity to learn skills that will be valued by potential employers.

Apprenticeships range from intermediate level (equivalent to GCSE level) right up to degree level and are available in a wide range of different industries. You can find out more about apprenticeships via the Find an Apprenticeship Service website. If you want some help applying, take a look at the guide on How to Write a Winning Apprenticeship Application or talk to your social worker or PA. Surrey also offers specific apprenticeships just to care leavers - ask your social worker or PA for more information.

I'm not sure I'm ready for an Apprenticeship, what other options are there?

If you're not quite ready for an apprenticeship, then you might be interested in a traineeship. 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 to an apprenticeship. The work experience placement is 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.

Where can I find volunteering opportunities?

Volunteering can be a great way to build your skills and meet new people. If you are interested in working in a particular field but don't have 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. You can find out information about volunteering opportunities in your area using the links below:

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.

The aim of the Care Leaver Covenant, to which organisations commit, is to provide additional support for those leaving care; making available a different type of support and expertise from that statutorily provided by local authorities. Drawing on the resourcefulness and imagination of their staff and their working environment, organisations have the potential to offer new perspectives and professional expertise. These can offer opportunities and a new way of thinking to aid the care leavers in moving forward successfully to the next phase of their lives.

Each organisation that commits to the Care Leaver Covenant will be able to offer a support package to care leavers that is tailored to its specific expertise. The organisation would underpin its commitment to the Covenant with a specific 'offer', setting out what it can provide.

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