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No matter what walk of life you come from, you can make a difference!

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Care Leavers, Life Chances

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The Civil Service currently has 23 Going Forward into Employment (GFiE) Life Chance Schemes in operation across Government, using innovative approaches to recruitment and providing Individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, and who face barriers to employment, with opportunities and experience.

In this blog edition, we introduce you to the Care Leavers Internship Scheme led by the Department for Education.  

What is the Care Leavers Internship Scheme?

The GFiE Civil Service Care Leavers Internship Scheme is a flagship scheme which gives Care Leavers the chance to benefit from a 12-month paid internship in a central Government department/agency, with the possibility of the post being made permanent at the end of the 12 months.

Eligibility Criteria

Individuals can apply for the scheme if they:

  • are aged between 18-30 
  • were eligible for a leaving care support package when they left care
  • satisfy the Civil Service Nationality requirements

No qualifications are required for this internship and apprenticeships may be offered as part of some roles.

How does this scheme make a difference?

The significance of this program is unmistakable. When executed successfully, it holds the potential to be trans-formative, not only for the intern but also for the Line Manager and all closely involved stakeholders. 

It is much more than a job placement; it embodies the cultivation of skills, fostering development, exercising patience, and dedicating time to understanding. It revolves around instilling a sense of worth, purpose, and the pursuit of making a tangible difference.’ 

Department for Education and Care Leavers Internship Scheme Leads

What do our Interns say about the Scheme...

I know this is a great opportunity for care leavers to start work and leads to ‘many open doors.  Candice - HMRC



Working in the heart of government. It gives you an opportunity to network and develop key skills which will help you in life. I’m so glad I got past my nerves and applied. Louise - Department for Education


The immense diversity of the organisation has shown me that no matter what walk of life you come from, you can make a difference. Joseph - Border Force Higher Officer 



What the Intern Line Managers said about the Scheme....

Every week has brought different challenges and the chance to learn and grow – for both of us. As a manager I’ve found it stretching both professionally and personally, but also highly rewarding to work with someone kick-starting their career and life journey. I’m glad we made use of the scheme and can confidently say we’ve made a positive difference to each other.   Gregory - Scottish Government "

"I anticipated challenges and was apprehensive not knowing what to expect, being unaware of what (the interns) background was.  However, they have been very open about their past and are happy to talk about their experience.   It has helped me as a manager too and we have formed a close working relationship. Darren -  Social Security Scotland 

How and when can individuals apply for an Internship?

The scheme is operated at certain points throughout the year and we plan on the next  application window opening May 2024

Care leavers will be able to apply directly through the Civil Service Jobs Portal and there will be an opportunity to join information sessions to support applicants before the application opens.

How Civil Service Departments can get involved:

If you are a Civil Servant Department and would like to offer opportunities via the Care Leavers Internship Scheme to fill your vacancy please contact the Care Leavers Team at for more information.  

Life Chance Schemes

If you want to know more about any of our other GFiE Life Chance Schemes, or would like to discuss using schemes for any vacancies that you have coming up, please contact us at

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