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Care Leavers

Care Leavers

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're here to help you build your skills, experience and contacts, and support you in applying for graduate jobs or further study. Sheryl Cruickshank is the named contacts for care leavers, so do contact her 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 the Career Options 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 Handshake and there also regular opportunities for 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 Applied Projects. 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 succeed 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.

Care Leavers Interview Fund 

If you have an interview coming up for a graduate job or placement year, you may be eligible for financial support from the Estranged & Care Leavers Interview Fund. You can use the fund towards additional costs such as travel, accommodation and interview clothes. To find out more and check your eligibility visit the blog here. 

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 Student and Graduate Employability Service. You can access one to one appointments, including via Skype or telephone if you are away from Sheffield, and you can view job vacancies and events via Handshake up to five years after graduating. 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, 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 2679 to book an appointment or email For more information see this blog from the team in Student Support Services.

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