WE KNOW THAT THE TRANSITION FROM COMPULSORY EDUCATION TO ADULTHOOD CAN BE A TURBULENT AND CONFUSING TIME FOR ANY YOUNG PERSON
And even more so for a child with caring responsibilities. That's why we run an Employability Programme, designed specifically to support young adult carers of ages 14-25.
Over the course of this 8 week programme, we work with participants to help them map out their next steps and to equip them with the tools, strategies and confidence that they need to access further education, training or employment.
In addition to this, the programme helps to educate employers about young carers, the challenges they face and the extraordinary skillsets that they can bring to the workplace. If you’re an employer and want to learn more about the programme, then please get in touch with us below.
LISTENING TO YOUNG CARERS
Over the course of 3 separate forum events carried out in October 2020, we heard from 20 young carers ranging from 8 to 18 on a range of issues. In these conversations, young carers shared the following insights and concerns:
Uncertainty about the future
Many young carers did not know what they would do post-16 and appeared to lack the time, clarity of thought or motivation to make plans. Several stated that they were ‘trying not to think about it, because it’s just too overwhelming’.
Low self-worth & confidence
Many seemed unaware of the skillsets they had developed as carers and demonstrated low self-worth and confidence. It was noted that these young people would be ill-equipped to sell themselves to employers.
Self-sacrifice for those they care for
Many of the young carers we spoke to appeared to be basing major life decisions on the needs of the individual for whom they were providing care, rather than making choices based on their own ambitions and interests.
Aspirations limited to caring
Several young carers stated that they had been ‘born into’ their caring roles, and appeared to consider care to be their primary purpose in life.
Experiencing bounded agency
Many expressed concerns over enrolling in training courses, committing to employment or applying to universities, as they were nervous about leaving the person for whom they care for long periods of time or about increasing the responsibility placed on younger sibling.
Underperformance at school
Many felt that they were falling behind in school and, thus, were unlikely to achieve strong GCSE results. A report conducted by The Carers Trust found that young carers achieve, on average, 9 grades lower than their peers overall at GCSE, and that they attribute this directly to their caring responsibilities.
In addition to this, according to research by Professor Joseph Sempik and Professor Saul Becker (2014) 87% of young carers felt that they had not received good career advice at school; and that the advice did not take into account their caring role.
These findings informed the design and development of MYTIME’s Employability Programme
The programme aims to create a nurturing environment where young adult carers are supported to recognise their own skills and strengths, to build an optimistic outlook on the future and to strive to achieve their goals. We continue to consult with young carers regularly to assess, evaluate and improve the programme.
The Employability Programme has been developed especially for young carers aged 14 – 25
The aims of the programme are to:
Empower young adult carers to achieve their full personal, academic and professional potential
Boost the self-confidence and self-worth of young carers, by helping them to appreciate the value of the skillsets they have developed through their caring roles
Raise awareness of young carers among employers, and promote supportive and inclusive workplaces for young adult carers
Are you an employer?
Alongside our work with young carers, MYTIME are also working to educate employers about the number of young people affected by caring responsibilities and the challenges they face, as well as the wealth of skills they have to offer.
Young carers demonstrate huge empathy, commitment and independence every single day. They can add enormous value and benefit to any team. It's in an employer's best interests to offer the flexible working patterns and to create the supportive working environments that will allow young carers to thrive.
There are a number of ways that employers can support MYTIME's Employability Programme:
- offer work experience or shadowing to young carers
- consider mentoring a young carer
- sign up to attend our annual young carer careers convention
- share vacancies with our employability team
- be available to talk to young carers
- host an inspiring talk or event for young carers
If you would like more information on MYTIME’s Employability Programme, how you can support it or to get in touch with a member of our team directly, please contact