John Lewis pledges to hire 300 care experienced young people by 2025

The John Lewis Partnership has announced plans to hire more than 300 young people with experience of being in care by January 2025.

The move is part of its Building Happier Futures programme, which launched two years ago and pledged action to offer opportunities for children in care. Its partners include the charities Action for Children, Home Start and Who Cares? Scotland.

Since it launched the Partnership has hired more than 70 care experienced young people.

“We are passionate about improving the lives of young care experienced people,” said John Lewis Partnership chair Sharon White.

“That's why we are running dedicated employability schemes, offering young people opportunities that, through no fault of their own, have been out of reach until now.

“This new ambition, as part of our Building Happier Futures programme, signals our commitment to help care experienced people gain skills and experience that sets them up in their careers.”

Among those backing the firm’s mission is The Fostering Network.

It’s chief executive Sarah Thomas said: ““So often care experienced young people miss out on education and employment opportunities as they don’t always have the same family support system as those without care experience.

“This ambition from John Lewis opens up critical opportunities, levelling the playing field and providing the foundation for a positive future.”

Education secretary Gillian Keegan added that John Lewis “s doing brilliant work to remove barriers and provide meaningful career opportunities for care leavers”.

Official UK government figures from 2022 found that four in ten care leavers aged between 19 and 21 were not in education, employment or training (NEET), compared to around one in ten among all young people of a similar age.

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