There are more than 314,000 young adult carers (16-24) in England and Wales –that’s more than 1 in 20 young people.
A caring role can have a significant impact on a young person’s engagement in education, training, employment, as well as on their wellbeing. For example, young adult carers are three times as likely to be, or to have been, NEET (not in education, training, and employment) than their peers without a caring role.
Carers Trust aims to support these young people – who are often hidden and unsupported – through our Young Carers Futures proposition. This is an initiative bringing together key stakeholders across education, training, and employment to improve these carers’ future prospects.
We worked with Mariam a young adult carer and our video agency partner the Mix to make a film about the difficulties of managing a caring role with studies and moving into early adulthood:
Celina became a young carer at an early age, supporting her mother who has cerebral palsy, fibromyalgia, agoraphobia, and depression. She lives with her five younger siblings whom she also supports whilst working full time.
Celina started applying for jobs once she had finished her course at the end of 2019.
“Getting a job is hard, especially when you are a young carer. And I am lucky I was able to get support from family and my local carer centre. My advice is DON’T GIVE UP! I wouldn’t have got where I am without getting support from others.
I initially attended a CV course with the help of my local carer centre, which made me realise I really needed to update what I had. It now looks amazing. I did some interview practice, helping me understand how I needed to answer the questions. Wiltshire Carers Centre helped with applying for jobs and I was able to have emotional and practical support.
“Originally, I didn’t have the confidence to say I was a carer but after being involved in the carer centre and volunteering with Carers Trust, it made me feel more confident talking about who I am. It gave me the confidence to talk to my manager about the practical side of my caring role and how that would fit in with the job.”
If you are comfortable and get on with a colleague at work, telling them about being a carer can be really helpful. Everyone was supportive and understanding, they helped me manage my caring role and work. My manager understood that I had to get home to help my mum with her medication, so my manager helped me arrange my shifts so I could work but support my mum.
I have gained a lot of skills from being a young carer. I know how to sit and plan for simple things. I know how to cook, clean, do the washing and look after my siblings. I am organised and know how to prioritise general day-to-day tasks. When I move out, I will know how to do all these things and I feel lucky for learning this.
My advice for any young adult carers looking for a job would be to not give up on your dream job. Persevere and you will get there eventually. Ask for help too! When I asked for help at my carers’ centre, they were able to provide grants for courses, college equipment and travel. Simple things really help and I was fully supported by my carer centre.”