More than 500 internships in the civil service will be offered to young people leaving care.

The Care Leaver Internship Scheme opened yesterday and is available at 20 departments and agencies including the Department for Education.

The 12-month paid internships are aimed at helping care leavers to develop skills and competences that support them into long-term jobs. Applications will be open until October 5.

Children’s Minister Vicky Ford said: “Too often they do not have the same opportunities or connections with potential employers as those with stable families, they risk becoming unemployed and left behind.”