Inspiring the Future
Inspiring the Future is a free and easy way for schools, colleges and volunteers from the world of work to connect. It has been developed following extensive consultation with range of stakeholders – employers, education, government, third sector and intermediaries. Volunteers from Apprentices to CEOs, Archaeologists to Zoologists pledge just one hour a year to volunteer in a state school or college near where they live or work to talk to young people about their job and career route.
Teachers and volunteers are connected through a secure website, selecting people who best meet the needs of their students from a range of sectors and professions. At the heart is volunteers talking informally about their job, career and their educational route. In addition, volunteers can select a number of areas of expertise that might be of interest to student – e.g. apprenticeships, enterprise, maths, financial literacy, languages, engineering and technology etc.
Using the concept of online match making, Inspiring the Future uses the latest software used by leading companies for online shopping and online booking etc. and was initially developed pro-bono by Deloitte, a leading consultancy business. By investing in (B2B Salesforce software), it can be rolled out free of charge to schools, colleges and employee volunteers.
Inspiring the Future explained in 6 seconds!
Launched in July 2012, Inspiring the Future initially covered secondary schools and colleges in England, but has recently been extended to Scotland and there are plans to extend to Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. There has also been interest from a number of other countries wishing to use the system and discussions are currently underway.
Inspiring the Future for Primary Schools
Following request from primary schools, Inspiring the Future has now been extended to primary schools under the name – Primary Futures. Primary Futures aims to raise aspirations by helping primary aged children understand the link between learning in school and the world of work, to motivate them to improve their academic performance. The ask of volunteers is the same, with a commitment of one hour a year to talk to young people, and we have added new activities of reading and number partners which are specifically aimed at the primary audience.
Inspiring the Future now enables us to run a number of campaigns and themed weeks encouraging employers and volunteers from specific sectors, professions and demographics to sign-up, working with schools and colleges to engage their young people. These include:
Apprenticeships – running year round campaigns in schools and colleges, encouraging them to invite current and former apprentices to talk with young people about what an apprenticeship is and how you apply for one
Inspiring Women – a high profile campaign that aims to sign-up 15,000 inspirational women from a range of sectors and professions to speak to state school girls about a range of jobs roles by International Women’s Day in March 2015.
Designed and Made Week – themed week to encourage schools and colleges to invite volunteers that design and make things – from T-shirts to aeroplanes – to give students insights into a range of career options.
Inspiring Languages - to encourage language teachers to invite volunteers using languages in their job to talk with school and college pupils to bring classroom learning to life. See our practical guide to Inspiring Languages: Inspiring Languages pamphlet
We are also currently planning with partners a number of other campaigns including one on diversity, special education needs and boys.
In addition to the one hour career insight talks, in response to demand from schools, colleges and volunteers we have extended the system to include a number of additional activities that teachers can select volunteer from. These follow the same format of a one hour a year commitment and include:
Help with CVs – giving young people feedback and advice on their CVs
Mock Interviews – helping young people practise their communication skills in realistic interview scenarios for jobs, Apprenticeships, Higher Education entry etc.
Numeracy – taking part in a numeracy related activity with a group of primary school children. This could be a one off activity which could evolve into more regular
involvement if you and the school both wish
Reading – reading to children or listening to them read in a primary school, either individually or in groups. This could be a one off activity which could evolve into more regular involvement if you and the school both wish
School Governor – volunteers interested in an informal discussion with schools about becoming a school governor, and schools looking for people to join their governing body can select this activity