Carers Trust works to transform the lives of unpaid carers. A young carer is someone aged 25 or under who cares for a friend or family member who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without their support. Older young carers are also known as young adult carers.
Young carers might carry out practical tasks, like cooking, housework, and shopping. They may also provide physical care, emotional support, and day-to-day personal care. Young carers could be managing the family budget and collecting prescriptions, helping someone communicate or take medicine. Often young carers will help by looking after brothers and sisters.
There are estimated to be over 1 million young carers and young adult carers in the UK. This underrepresented group of young people possess impressive talents – and with the right support from employers; will thrive, unlock their potential, and are a huge asset and untapped talent pool.
FIVE SIMPLE STEPS TO SUPPORTING YOUNG CARERS
By adopting the 5 simple steps below, your organisation will support more young carers to enter and stay in the workplace:
1 > Understand what being an unpaid carer is and normalise conversations in the workplace.
1 in 9 employees in the UK are carers and it’s a hidden part of daily life for many people.
2 > Embed good practices and policies supporting employees who have caring responsibilities and make this a visible part of any job advert.
Many people with caring responsibilities assume workplaces won’t be flexible enough to allow them to continue caring and so don’t apply.
3 > Look beyond qualifications and instead explore a young person’s transferable skills.
Are they enthusiastic, and adaptable, do their life experiences equip them for work?
4 > Invite young people to visit your place of work for insight days.
Given many young carers look after house-bound relatives, it’s likely they might not have a broader view of the opportunities out there, therefore insight days can inspire and raise their aspirations.
5 > Encouraging positive work-life balance is essential for carers.
A report found that two-fifths of young carers did not feel supported by their managers. On average, 600 people a day leave work to care – with over 500,000 people leaving work to provide unpaid care pre-pandemic.
Young carers Futures
From September 2023, Carers Trust launched an employer partner programme as part of Young Carers Futures, an ambitious UK wide proposition that aims to support thousands of young carers move into employment.
The employer partner programme can support your organisation to implement carer friendly practices, organise insight days and much more.