Two Salford care leavers are to be offered apprenticeships to help other young people cared for by Salford City Council.
Councillor Jack Youd, lead member for financial services, has given the green light to awarding Advocacy Focus the council’s advocacy and independent visitor scheme which provides support to children and young people being cared for by the council or who are known to children’s services.
Young people helped assess the tenders for the five year contract and the successful bidder, Advocacy Focus, has promised extensive benefits for the people of Salford as part of its social value commitment.
“We’re trying to use our spending power to gain extra benefits for Salford – from keeping spending in the local economy where possible to creating opportunities for residents,” said Councillor Youd.
“That could be jobs, apprenticeships, training for existing staff and work placement opportunities or even careers advice and mentoring sessions in local schools.
“In this case the service will take on two new apprentices who have experience of the care system and offer business placements for young people with additional needs to support them into the world of work. They will also go into schools to support careers advice about working in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors.
“They will offer training and other support to their own staff, the public and voluntary, community and social enterprises in Salford and are committed to becoming an accredited Living Wage employer and signing up to the City Mayor’s employment charter. It’s a win-win for Salford.”
Councillor Jim Cammell, lead member for children’s services, said: “It’s essential that children and young people, who can’t live with their birth family for whatever reason, or are being supported by our services have someone independent of the council who can help them speak up about their care.
“I’m delighted that we have awarded this contract and gained so many extra benefits for Salford.”