Kier is the first company in the built environment sector to support 16-25-year olds that have spent time in care through the Department for Education’s Care Leaver Covenant. Launched at an event in Birmingham last week, the agreement looks to support care leavers with opportunities to enter work including internships and apprenticeships. Kier will provide care leavers with additional support including one-to-one mentoring and pastoral support; and provide them with educational and training opportunities.
Signing the Covenant highlights the commitment of Kier and its employees to providing targeted, specialist support for care leavers. Kier has a number of programmes that provide opportunities for marginalised people in the community. Its ‘Working Roots’ scheme in partnership with North Tyneside council engages with disadvantaged young people, including care leavers, to bring them into work. Additionally, its ‘Making Ground’ programme is aimed at getting ex-offenders back into employment.
Haydn Mursell, CEO at Kier, commented: “I am incredibly proud to be the first company in the built environment to sign up to the Care Leaver Covenant to, alongside our supply chain, establish training facilities for young people that have spent time in care and provide mentoring opportunities and apprenticeships.
“In recent years we have continued to see the skills crisis in the industry increase and there are increasing numbers of care leavers seeking opportunities to join the world of work. The Covenant presents us with the perfect opportunity to continue addressing both these issues and open up a new talent pool of people to consider joining the built environment.”
The Covenant was unveiled by Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zadawi MP and currently more than 50 businesses, charities and government departments have pledged to support it. It sets out an ambition for the scheme to create 10,000 work opportunities over the next ten years, helping young people gain vital skills and experience as they enter the jobs market.