Carlisle College has formed a first-of-its-kind partnership to help students who have spent time in care into work.

Government scheme the Care Leaver Covenant has set up the partnership with colleges group NCG, which includes Carlisle College.

The pilot scheme will see a progression coordinator based at the college, who will work with student services staff and help them to identify and support students who have experienced care into employment and leisure opportunities with the Care Leaver Covenant.

There are around 70,000 young people in care in the UK and approximately 10,000 leave care each year, becoming care leavers.

The Care Leaver Covenant is funded by the Department for Education and is aimed at tackling the disadvantages that young people aged 16 to 25 face when leaving care and helping them to live independently.

It works with a range of organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors to create opportunities for care leavers, including employment, education and training, safety and security, health, financial independence and independent living.

“This partnership demonstrates that NCG is willing to go the extra mile to support care leavers, having been early signatories and supporters of the covenant,” said Matthew Gordon, chief executive of Spectra, delivery partner of the Care Leaver Covenant.

“As the first collaboration like this between a FE provider and the covenant, we are excited to see how we can work together to benefit the care leavers at Carlisle College and support them to find the employment options through our network of signatories.”

Steven Salkeld, interim principal at the college, said: “Our aim is to unlock the potential of every student that begins their journey with us, whatever their background, and it’s our duty to ensure that we teach them the skills so that they can enter employment after completing their studies. Students can face disadvantages when leaving care, so having a progression coordinator within our colleges means that we can have that additional focus on their needs and identify opportunities for them to get the training, jobs and experiences.”