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Agenda item

Supporting Care Leavers into Education, Employment and Training


The Panel received a report and presentation of Linda Bailey, Strategic Lead for Progression and Learning, which provided an update on the support available to care leavers to enable them to progress into education, employment and training (for copy of report and presentation see file of minutes). 


In response to a question from Councillor Darkes, the Strategic Lead responded that contact has been made with town and parish councils and with neighbouring authorities and she will also consider exploring opportunities with town and parish councils.  Cllr Considine commented that the Safer and Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee has also undertaken work with the Progression and Learning team and asked if they were aware of the work of the Skill Mill.  The Strategic Lead responded saying that they are aware of the Skill Mill, however, Clean and Green have a slightly different approach. 


Councillor Robinson emphasised the importance of targeted recruitment adding that Regeneration and Local Services have been particularly proactive to promote opportunities with the Council’s sub-contractors.  The Strategic Lead explained that meetings with the Chief Executive are being held to discuss measures to increase opportunities and it is hoped that the relocation to the new headquarters will generate more leads.


In response to a question about gender of the NEET cohort from N Harrison, the Strategic Lead informed the Panel that there are slightly more males than females.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  


Councillor Jewell referred to those young people who do not complete the DurhamWorks programme and asked why this occurs.  The Strategic Lead responded that the

drop-out rate is slightly greater for those young people who are looked after / in care, however, the drop-out rate is not so large that it is considered problematic.  The Strategic Lead stressed that contact is made with young people and providers to gather their views on their experience of the placements, which helps to inform future placements.


Councillor Charlton referred to those looked after children / care leavers who are ‘not known’ and asked the reason for this.  The Strategic Lead responded that the reasons are known, as monthly analysis is undertaken with the young people, however, the reasons can be varied and complex.  Some young people are simply unwilling or apprehensive to withdraw from the benefit system and move into apprenticeships, especially if they are not yet on universal credit.


The Chair asked whether any progress has been made on the proposal to ring-fence apprenticeship opportunities for care leavers.  The Strategic Lead informed the Panel that this matter has been raised with human resources colleagues and a report is being prepared for consideration by the Corporate Management Team.


In response to a question from Councillor Carr, the Strategic Lead informed the Panel that DurhamWorks has established links with housing which have led to employment opportunities.




That the report be noted.


Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714