National scheme expands to give Yorkshire pupils career insight

A national initiative is expanding in Yorkshire to give secondary school pupils first-hand inspiration about jobs and careers they might want to follow.

Inspiring the Future is a free service in which people from all sectors and professions volunteer to go into state secondary schools and colleges to talk about their jobs, careers, apprenticeships and the education routes they took.

Everyone from chief executives to apprentices can volunteer for Inspiring the Future which this month celebrates its first anniversary.

Nearly 5,000 volunteers are already signed up but more are needed and Yorkshire is one of the first regions to benefit from the scheme’s expansion.

Claire Burns is group human resources manager at Bradford-based SIL Holdings Ltd, the parent company of a group of textile firms throughout West Yorkshire.

Claire, who has volunteered for Inspiring the Future, said:

“Inspiring the Future is a straightforward initiative that can unite the world of work with education.

“Young people have various ideas how an industry or business works and how they may work within a sector – Inspiring the Future can help them understand how they can contribute to the success of an organisation and how their skills gained in education can transfer to the work place.

“As human resources manager for a group of textile companies, I am keen to share my experiences of both the manufacturing and skills involved in producing cloth as well as an insight into the world of HR.”

Almost 2,000 secondary schools are registered with Inspiring the Future, keen to ensure their pupils benefit from the initiative.

They include Dixons City Academy, Bradford, where David Connolly is head of business education.

He said:

“I have really enjoyed working with a wide variety of people via the Inspiring the Future website.

“I’ve been able to connect with people from all sorts of backgrounds and organisations, all of whom have been only too willing to come into school and offer my students interesting insights into their chosen careers – everything from television producers and solicitors to bankers and tax collectors.

“As resources go, this has to be one of the most valuable I’ve used in 20 years of teaching. The fact it is free is a real bonus.”

David ConnollyA
David Connolly

Volunteers are asked to give ‘one hour, once a year’ and can share their jobs and career experience by:

  •  giving career insight talks in assemblies or classroom visits
  • taking part in careers fairs with other volunteers
  • conducting mock interviews
  • taking part in CV workshops with pupils.

Education and Employers Taskforce Director Nick Chambers said:

“Inspiring the Future is a fantastic initiative, giving school pupils real insights into jobs and careers that they might want to consider taking up in the future.

“People who volunteer find going into schools and sharing their knowledge and experience hugely rewarding and I hope many more people in Yorkshire will volunteer and join Inspiring the Future.”

Volunteers can sign up and schools can register free for Inspiring the Future at:

Claire Burns and Joshua Barker-Lockwood (2)a
Claire Burns and Joshua Barker-Lockwood

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