Care Leavers

Are you are a care leaver, i.e. were you looked after by a local authority during childhood? At the Careers and Employability Service, we provide tailored support to help you build your skills, experience and contacts and progress into a graduate job or further study. Maggie Bamford (m.bamford@shu.ac.uk) and Sheryl Cruickshank (s.cruickshank@shu.ac.uk) are the named contacts for care leavers, so do contact them directly with any questions or to arrange an appointment.

Are you aware of the career options open to you?

For any student, navigating next steps and choosing a career direction can be challenging. However, if you don't have networks to rely on and gain insight from, you may particularly benefit from talking through your ideas with a careers adviser. This can help ensure you are aware of the range of options open to you and assist with your decision making. You can find useful information to begin your research and career exploration in Career Planning for Beginners and Options with your Subject sections of this site.

Do you have relevant work experience?

Seeking a part time job? You can access campus jobs and part time jobs through UniHub and there also regular opportunities for "Care Leaver Ambassadors", which involve sharing your experiences at university with young people and representing the University at events. If you do not have time for a part time job, you can seek out other ways to build your experience, such as one-off volunteering with Hallam Union and opportunities within your course through Venture Matrix.

If you have moved schools or jobs several times, due to your living situation, have a chat with our employment advisers, about how best to present this on your CV. Remember that additional responsibilities such as assisting foster carers or looking after siblings and perseverance through other challenges are evidence of your character that can make you stand out to employers, if you choose to share this.

Do you have a network of professional contacts?

If not, take advantage of our Career Mentoring Scheme, which gives you the chance to meet with a professional from an organisation or in a job role that interests you. Your mentor can give you the benefit of their experience in a particular occupation, and an insight into the knowledge and skills you need to enter into and progress within that occupation.

Do you have people to encourage and support you with your career?

Life can be hectic sometimes and it might feel like you have lots of challenges to juggle. One graduate care leaver said "I had too much going on to access careers support," and it's easy for other things to take priority over planning your future. This is why the careers team will contact you individually, if you have identified as a care leaver, before you enter your final year, to discuss careers advice, events and programmes that would be helpful to you. 

Getting encouragement from fellow students can help you stay focused in your career planning and job search. Our Career Impact programme is designed to bring together a community of like-minded students who can offer you peer support when applying for graduate schemes; it also includes employer guests and exclusive networking opportunities.  

What next after graduation?

Even though your time at Sheffield Hallam may have come to an end, you can continue to have support from the Careers and Employability team. You can access one to one appointments, job vacancies and events via UniHub up to five years after graduating, including via Skype or telephone if you are away from Sheffield. You also have free IT access at our Careers and Employability Centre. We can offer advice on funding for further study and refer to appropriate help if you have questions about claiming benefits or securing accommodation. Remember that if you decide to continue in education or training, your Local Authority has a legal responsibility to support you, if requested, up to until the age of 25.

Want support with other aspects of university life?

Sheffield Hallam can support you with all aspects of university life, e.g. funding issues, accommodation, study skills, support for a disability. Telephone 0114 225 3813 to book an Initial Guidance Appointment or email transitions@shu.ac.uk and ask for Emily or Robin. For more information see this blog from the team in Student Support Services.

Last modified: 
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 11:35