Care leavers often have much poorer educational and employment outcomes than their peers. Childhood trauma, attachment issues, the subsequent poor mental health, and high prevalence of special educational needs (SEN), that can be a result of these experiences, are some of the factors contributing to these poor outcomes for care leavers in education and employment.

Project overview

The Construction Workforce programme saw Groundwork Greater Manchester work closely with the Stockport Leaving Care Team to support young people from the care system, who were not in employment, education or training and were identified as ‘hard to engage,’ into work in this construction sector.

Groundwork’s experienced Employment Coaches provided three months of 1-2-1 support so that each young person could have their needs met on an individual basis, rather than delivering the programme in a group setting. This involved working with them in the location they felt most comfortable, meaning most of the work was done by visiting the learner at home.

Once the Employment Coaches identified individuals’ challenges, they coached participants through their level 1 H&S in Construction and to develop a variety of skills including:

  • CV writing
  • Interview preparation
  • Use of IT
  • Work place behaviours and expectations
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Budgeting

In addition, the Employment Coaches provided a further three months of in-job support once the young person secured employment.


  • 16 young people from Stockport enrolled on the Construction Workforce programme in total
  • 13 young people completed the full programme and obtaining their level 1 H&S in Construction
  • 5 young people went on to complete their CSCS test, an essential qualification for those working in the construction sector
  • 6 young people found sustainable employment, with 1 progressing into further training

Francine Purcell, from the Stockport Leaving Care Team added

“As a result of the programme, we have seen young people enter the workforce that, without this project, were at serious risk of becoming long term NEET.”

This included Max, hear more about his story below: