Education and Employers is a UK based charity launched in 2009 which aims to“provide young people with the inspiration, motivation, knowledge, skills and opportunities they need to help them achieve their potential”. The charity believes that every young person in our country, wherever they live, whatever their parents or carers’ circumstances, should have the opportunity to meet a diverse range of volunteers and hear first-hand about jobs and the world of work.
To help make this happen the charity works with state schools, employers, the national bodies that represent them and a wide range of other partners including the government and third sector organisations.
Its flagship service, Inspiring the Future, uses innovative online match-making technology to connect schools and colleges across the country with tens of thousands of volunteers working in different sectors – for free. These volunteers, from a huge range of jobs – from app designers to zoologists, and at all levels – from apprentices to CEOs, have signed up to share their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm about their jobs with young people.
The charity’s research has shown that meeting people from the world of work helps to broaden young people’s horizons, raise their aspirations and increase motivation to learn which leads to improvements in attainment. It also helps tackle the ingrained stereotypical views children often have about the jobs people do based on their gender, ethnicity or socio-economic background.
People can volunteer from an hour a year in a local primary (Primary Futures) or secondary school to chat informally, either in person or virtually, about their job and career route, take part in career speed networking sessions, give young people careers insights, mock interviews or feedback on CVs.
There is also the opportunity to link up with schools for workplace visits, job shadowing, and mentoring. Tens of thousands of volunteers have enabled over two million interactions between volunteers and young people to date.
Inspiring Governance launched in 2016 and is funded by the Department for Education. The free matching service connects highly skilled volunteers who wish to become governors or trustees with state schools across England, helping to increase the diversity of governing boards and raise school standards.
Education and Employers also undertakes research into the effectiveness of employer engagement in education. It aims to bring together academics, researchers, policymakers and practitioners from around the world to consider what interventions have most impact.