A leading Councillor has welcomed an announcement from the Department for Education on an increase in bursaries offered to children who have grown up in the care of Local Authorities.
The Apprenticeship Care Leaver’s bursary, which is offered to some of the most vulnerable young people in England and Wales as they join the career ladder, will be raised to £3,000.
The increased rate will be available for new starts from 1 August 2023, and will be paid in instalments across the first year of their apprenticeship.
Employers and training providers will continue to receive £1,000 each to support care leavers they employ, meaning here will now be a total cost of £5,000 in additional funding for every care leaver apprentice.
Councillor Margaret Cracknell, portfolio holder for education and young people at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:
“For many of our most vulnerable children who have been through the care system, this will represent a meaningful opportunity for them to start a career in something where they can really grow and develop.
“Care leavers and care experienced children so often don’t have behind them the support of family figures, so it is important that they get this additional support to start a career and gain new skills.
“Let’s not forget that this financial incentive is good for businesses too because the bursary incentivises apprentices to stick at their placement and commit to completing their qualification.”
22-year old Elle, who was a care leaver, landed a care leaver apprenticeship with North East Lincolnshire Council working with young people. Elle says that the care leaver bursary gave her a helping hand.
Elle said: “My apprenticeship with North East Lincolnshire Council has been fantastic. I get to work with some great people everyday and I’ve learnt lots whilst doing the job.
“This bursary really did give me a helping hand, allowing me to sort out my driving lessons. I recently passed my test so I’m now able to drive to work.
“I would urge care leavers and employers to consider the bursary when looking into apprenticeships. It’s definitely worthwhile.”
The bursary is for apprentices who are in care or are care leavers. To find out whether you qualify for the bursary, visit www.gov.uk.
Businesses wishing to take on a care leaver apprentice through the bursary scheme can get in touch with the Council for more information. Contact [email protected].
The move to increase the bursary was made by the Government to mark National Apprenticeship Week 2023.