Barnardo's urges Government to provide apprenticeships for care system leavers
Thousands of apprenticeships should be reserved for 16 to 18-year-olds who are being fostered in the care system, the Government is being urged.
Barnardo's said 20,000 placements should be made available in England to help the thousands of young people who are being looked after by the state.
Barnardo's chief executive Javed Khan said: "Young people leaving the care system have ambition and talents. They want to work, to be financially independent and contribute to the country's economy.
"But too often, care leavers find the door to employment is closed. Getting an apprenticeship and proving themselves in work can open up the door to a successful career instead of a dependence on benefits.
"Young people are the future of Britain's economy. They must be invested in and given the right support to get into work."
Barnado's said setting aside 20,000 places was less than 1% of new apprenticeships.
A Department for Education spokesman said: "We are improving the lives of care leavers and helping them make a successful transition to adulthood. A good apprenticeship can help support this, and that is why we're fully funding apprenticeships' training for eligible care leavers aged 19-23.
"We have also changed the law so young people can live with their foster family after they turn 18, and given every child who leaves care a Personal Adviser. We are also investing over £100 million through the Innovation Programme to support vulnerable children."