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Care Leavers with a unique employability skillset

Employability Service

Category: Student support services

11 February 2022

For most students, navigating your way through university and taking those next steps to starting your career can be challenging. Now consider doing it with little or no family support. For many Care Leavers and Care Experienced students, this is the challenge they face every day. However, the skills they develop because of this make them some of the most employable graduates around. In this blog, Sarah Sterling explains why employers are lucky to find a recruit with this unique skillset.


Girl running along an open road

This is one of the top skills employers are asking for when recruiting graduates. A skill that Care Leavers have in abundance, navigating their way into higher education with often little or no support. Overcoming challenges, they face on a daily basis with determination to succeed. ARU has an amazing Student Experience Team who are committed to supporting our students who are Care Leavers and those who are Care Experienced throughout their higher education experience, so do get in touch!


The experiences of Care Leavers and Care Experienced students will differ, but usually will have involved working with a range of services, individuals and professionals and often involve living with different people in different environments. They have experience of communicating and engaging with people from a range of age groups, in different circumstances and in formal and non formal settings. This is a skill that employers require and that some students lack confidence in or do not know how to provide examples.

Problem solving.

Like many students, Care Leavers and Care Experienced students have experience of facing challenging situations. However, unlike many students, Care Leavers and Care Experienced students have often had to solve these problems independently and without support. A good place to assess your skills and keep a record of your progress is through completing Career Pulse.

Finger placing the missing piece of jigsaw


Care Leavers often have experience of adapting to new environments and situations. Some of these have been forced upon them, others are chosen. It is therefore a skill they have developed and may be less daunted by in a work situation, allowing them to adapt to new work environments quickly and efficiently.

These are just a few identified skills; I would need more than a blog to list them all! But in summary, Care Leavers and Care Experienced students have a wealth of skills and experience to demonstrate they are excellent candidates and should be snapped up by employers. The trick is identifying what those skills are and then translating them to potential employers. If you are not sure what skills you have to offer, come along to one of our ‘Confidence in talking about your strengths for Care Leavers’ workshops. As well as accessing specific information about career options and opportunities for Care Leavers and Care Experienced students through Career Centre, students and graduates should be aware of just some of the opportunities available to them through the Care Leaver Covenant and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity careers page.

What’s next for you after ARU? As always, The Career Centre has many resources available to help with planning your next steps as well as individual appointments to explore ideas.

Sarah Sterling, Employability & Careers Adviser

Our Employability Service works with students throughout their time at ARU and after they graduate. The Service offers careers advice, online resources, and help with job searches, applications and interview preparation. Our Employability & Careers Advisers may mention some of these resources and services in their blogs, to give you an idea of the careers support that's on offer at ARU. Some of these resources sit behind a log in and can only be accessed by current students.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.