We are grateful to the following high-profile supporters and organisations for backing the I Am #InspiringTheFuture campaign.
Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of NAHT
“The importance of exposure to the world of work at primary age cannot be overstated. The earlier children’s aspirations are raised and broadened, the better.”
“We want to create more of these ‘light-bulb moments’ for young people. That’s why we support Primary Futures – a programme that gets volunteers into primary schools to talk about their jobs.”
“Primary Futures helps children to understand the relevance of subjects they are studying, and to connect their education directly to their futures, resulting in a positive impact on attainment throughout school.
“After five years, we’ve had some amazing results, but we really want to see a universal entitlement to this kind of work, otherwise too many children will still find themselves at a disadvantage.”
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of Association of School & College Leaders
“ASCL is delighted to support the ‘I am #InspiringTheFuture” campaign. All young people should have the opportunity to meet and interact with volunteers from the world of work. Such encounters increase their motivation to learn and are a key way of helping to ensure that next generation is well informed about the wealth of current jobs and career routes open to them. I would encourage all employers and their staff to support and volunteer to go into schools via the Inspiring the Future match-making service which ASCL helped to design”
Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education & Skills, OECD
“We’re not saying seven-year-olds have to choose their careers now – but we must fight to keep their horizons open. We cannot afford to waste talent from children as young as seven ruling out options if they are convinced their choices are limited by their gender, ethnicity or class. It’s a question of social justice and common sense to tackle ingrained assumptions as early as possible or they will be very tough to unpick later on.
“We need major employers, including government itself, to open up their work-forces to primary schools. We can’t afford the mismatch between career aspirations and the reality of the job market so we need to be bolder in getting inspiring professionals into classrooms as early as possible.
“Inspiring the Future is a simple solution. We all had light bulb moments at school when we’ve met someone who inspires us to think big about our potential, our future and our goals. We believe every single young person has an equal right to that same light bulb moment – wherever they live, whatever their parents do, and whatever school they go to.
“It will tackle the imbalance in accessing role models. There is no silver bullet in boosting social mobility – but understanding the world beyond the classroom and home must be universal. It can’t be rationed to certain young people and not others.
“The best teachers enable children to discover their passions, develop their dreams and find their place in society. Pupils will invest in their education if they can link what they are studying in schools to the real world and the opportunities out there.”
Matthew Fell, CBI UK Chief Policy Director
“Connecting with business makes a real difference to young people’s life chances, and it’s something every business – whatever their size, sector or location – can do.
“Young people don’t feel they are being well-prepared for the world of work, and while excellent progress is being made, it remains the case that opportunities for interactions with employers are not distributed evenly. Business must ensure that every young person has equal access to the professionals that can help them succeed.
“Initiatives like #InspiretheFuture help create momentum and ensure businesses and their employees can make a tangible difference.”
Mike Buchanan, Executive Director, Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC)
“This is a fantastic project that chimes with the aims of HMC schools to spread excellence. Our schools are rich with resources, and our members spend their lives building young people’s futures. It is what motivates them as teachers and heads. So they are ready and willing to help provide the calibre of speakers who can make a real difference to the lives of millions of children around the country.”
Professor Becky Francis, Director, UCL Institute of Education
“Over the last 10 years, Education & Employers has been working to provide state schools with innovative resources that can support young people – especially those from less privileged backgrounds – to thrive in later life, irrespective of gender, ethnicity or social background. Their Inspiring the Future and Primary Futures programmes help broaden young people’s horizons, challenge stereotypical assumptions, and provide careers advice. Importantly, the Education & Employers continues to challenge employers on their responsibilities and the mutual benefits of engaging with education institutions.”
Alistair Jarvis, CEO Universities UK
“Doing more to raise aspirations, challenge deep-rooted assumptions, and open minds to education and career options at a young age is important. This excellent initiative will complement the work already delivered through university-school partnerships and should give thousands of school children fresh and exciting perspectives on what the future could hold for them.”
Natasha Davies, National Senior Programme Manager, Health Education England
Inspiring the Future is one of our key charity partners. The NHS Ambassador programme allows NHS staff to share their time and skills in schools across the UK, it gives employees a unique opportunity to connect with young people, to have meaningful interactions and you only need to commit an hour per year of your time. If you want to inspire fresh talent, encourage fantastic, bright, forward thinking people to come and work in your organisation, ignite the flame through Inspiring the Future. Go for it, you have no reason not to.”
Jennifer Taylor, Managing Director of Compliance and Operational Risk at Bank of America Merrill Lynch & Board Member of Education and Employers
“We are delighted to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Education & Employers and are proud to have been a partner on their journey, which has educated, enabled and empowered millions of young people across the UK and Ireland over the last decade. Many of our employees have been instrumental in supporting the charity – through taking on school governors roles, mentoring and delivering coaching to young people. Driving social and economic mobility is at the heart of what we do and we know that when companies and communities work together to solve significant societal issues they can help deliver lasting positive impact.”
Rupert McNeil , Government Chief People Officer said:
“All civil servants have at least 3 volunteering days. It’s a great way for them to engage with their local community, and many civil servants use these days to volunteer to help schools and young people, including with Education and Employers’ “Inspiring the Future” programme.