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Getting care leavers into apprenticeships

Joel has had a tough upbringing in care. He is now 20, has no GCSEs and no qualifications. But he is talented, determined and ready to build a future. Our Bright Light programme helps young care leavers like Joel find apprenticeships. So they can build a career full of hope.

Allison and Maggie from Bright Light reflect on their work and Joel's promising journey.



Boy being taught how DIY

Finding their feet

Allison looks for opportunities for care leavers. Whether it is training, volunteering or paid work. She wants to find the best possible career path for them.

'We’d just gone into lockdown. I was doing some research and came across Arcus FM. They had quite a few apprenticeship vacancies and mentioned they invest heavily in colleague training and encourage applications from underserved groups.'

'The young people I had in mind were very practically minded and wanted roles where they’d be out and about.'

These apprenticeships looked ideal

'Too many hurdles'

At first, there were a few things that meant some of the care leavers couldn’t apply for the roles. They needed drivers licenses and other qualifications. 'I left the call thinking that there were probably too many hurdles to overcome.’

However, after talking to them, they agreed to make exceptions. Joel was offered an interview.

They were really interested in our care leavers


The perfect candidate

Maggie is Joel’s Career Coach. She remembers ‘Joel really wanted the role but was concerned because of his lack of qualifications as well as a lack of work and social experience. He was nervous but excited about the opportunity. He’s bright, inquisitive and has a positive attitude.'

A perfect combination for an employer

Woman talks to young girl while writing on a clipboard

money in the bank

The interview went great. They listened. Their feedback was honest and personal. This was something Joel had never had before.

The panel felt a full apprenticeship might be a bit overwhelming for him. He’d not worked before and had experienced various challenges throughout his life. So they offered him work experience which included on the job training and expenses. 

The Friday before Joel was set to start, he was told his accommodation situation was changing. Joel now needed a full time job to pay the rent. He couldn’t afford to take up the opportunity. Things weren't looking good.

But Bright Light and Arcus FM stuck with Joel. They found him another apprenticeship opportunity and he was offered the role.

We were jumping up and down. We knew Joel could do the job.

Master apprentice

Joel is doing great. He is now eight weeks into his apprenticeship. He’s thriving in this job. Always willing to learn. This is just the start of promising career.

Maggie reflects 'I’ve no doubt that Joel will flourish in his new role. Not only because he’s a really capable lad, but because he knows what opportunities Arcus FM has opened up for him.'

He can have a lifelong career when his apprenticeship has finished.