Care Leavers' Transition into the Labour Market in England

Using linked national datasets and interviews with stakeholders, this research explores factors and trajectories contributing to employability for
care leavers.

SPRU research team

External collaborators

Related links

Publications and presentations from the project are available from the York Research Database.

Project website

This research sits within the Department of Social Policy and Social Work's Child Welfare Research Group and our Policy: research and evaluation research theme. Read about our research themes.  

For more information contact Jo Dixon

Project summary

Government statistics show that carer leavers are three times more likely not to be in education, employment or training (NEET) than any other young people. In 2017, 40% of care leavers aged 19-21 were NEET, compared to 13% of the general population. This has been associated with poor outcomes after care, including higher rates of homelessness, mental health problems and custody. Recent developments in national data collection enable examination of the factors that contribute to employability of care leavers, including earlier education and training. However, to date, no national statistical research has been undertaken in England on the employability of care leavers. 

This mixed methods research will analyse four national datasets, previously unexplored in this context, to identify care and educational factors and trajectories that contribute to employability of care leavers. Access to a fifth experimental dataset, the Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) dataset is being discussed with the Department for Education (DfE) to extend analyses and increase the robustness of the study. The analysis of datasets will be complemented by interviews with a range of stakeholders, including 36 care leavers in and out of employment, in order to shed light on the statistical associations identified. Findings will assist policy-makers and service providers in adopting strategies to support care-experienced young people into employment. 

Additional information

Contact Eran Melkman

March 2019 - August 2020

Related links

Publications and presentations from the project are available from the York Research Database.

Project website

This research sits within the Department of Social Policy and Social Work's Child Welfare Research Group and our Policy: research and evaluation research theme. Read about our research themes.  

For more information contact Jo Dixon