Education secretary Gavin Williamson visited Stamford Bridge as part of an event dedicated to support young people leaving care.
The Care Leaver Covenant is a government policy to help support young adults who leave care getting in to work and achieving independence. Lots of organisations have signed up including Amazon, Barclays, London Fire Brigade and all government departments. They will be offering internships or other programmes for care leavers.
The Chelsea Foundation are among those to commit to the cause and will offer a tailored education programme for care leavers, designed to improve and prepare the young people for future employment.
The networking event, focusing on internship, was attended by a host of care leavers and various businesses and civil service organisations, who are all supporting the Covenant.
Speaking after the event, the secretary of state for education said: ‘We are incredibly grateful to Chelsea for having us, but crucially for taking an active interest and getting involved in care leavers.
‘They are a brilliant example of a club who realise their roots are in the community and are determined to give back and give care leavers the leg up and help them get on in the world of work and education.
‘We are seeing more and more businesses doing this and very much hope to see a tidal wave of support from others who can make a difference.’
The Covenant is championed by the Department for Education with the support of delivery partner Spectra First.
In total close to 100 organisations have signed up to the Covenant, with Spectra CEO Matthew Gordon hosting and facilitating Tuesday’s networking event at the Bridge.
Among those to sign up is the Foundation, with head of education and innovation Matt Mead explaining the reasons why it is so important. He said: ‘Some of these young people have been through a lot in their life so for the Chelsea Foundation to provide an opportunity to learn and development in safety and introduce them to companies and help them work is a great opportunity for all concerned.
‘The courses will only have about 10 or 12 participants at a time so we can give them the care and attention they deserve and support their growth.
‘We will work with them for 12 weeks, focusing on employability skills, digital skills and life skills and prepare them to find a job.’