I am #InspiringTheFuture: why we need to inspire our next generation

On our 10th anniversary, we take a look at the ideas behind our new campaign, explore why it matters and show how you can get involved.

Watch our new campaign video here

We know that one of the best ways of inspiring young people about their future is to give them the chance to meet people from the world of work, and in times of uncertainty and change, the need to inspire our next generation is more important than ever.

Look at our new campaign page here

Read what supporters of the campaign have said

The value of encounters between young people and the world of work

Our research proves that such encounters help to broaden young people’s horizons, increase their motivation to learn, and challenge gender stereotyping. Meeting a wide range of volunteers from the world of work improves academic performance and helps ensure the next generation is well informed about the wealth of current jobs and career routes open to them. These meaningful encounters help reduce the mismatch between young people’s career aspirations and the reality of the labour market. They reduce the likelihood of young people becoming NEET (not in employment, education, or training), and can increase young people’s earnings in adult life. Our research consistently shows the importance of employer engagement in schools and the importance of starting at primary-age.

Giving every young person a first-hand perspective

“Every young person in our country, wherever they live, whatever their parents/carers’ circumstances, and whatever school they go to, should have the opportunity to hear first-hand about jobs and the world of work,” explains Nick Chambers, Education and Employers’ CEO.

“A young person’s background should not determine their chances of getting these opportunities. We want our young people to become excited by learning and by their potential, to see the diversity of what is possible and to make informed decisions about their future.”

How it works: building on a sound foundation

Through Inspiring the Future and its Primary Futures programme, we help teachers connect children and young people with a wide range of volunteers from the world of work, from different social, economic and ethnic backgrounds. People working in different sectors and at different levels, from app designers to zoologists, apprentices to CEOs. People who have taken a variety of career routes, including starting their own business, doing an apprenticeship or going to college or university. It’s a very simple idea with huge and far-reaching impact.

We would like to thank teachers, schools, partners, donors, employers, volunteers and government who have supported our mission since launching on 15 October 2009. Working together we have changed young lives through meaningful encounters with the world of work and helped give our young people the best start in life.

I am #InspiringTheFuture

Today we’re launching a new national campaign I am #InspiringTheFuture to double our volunteer network and give even more children and young people the opportunity to meet role models from every industry, profession and sector. Our long-term aim is to create 10 million ‘lightbulb moments,’ face-to-face interactions between pupils and volunteers to widen aspirations and inspire the next generation. 

There are lots of easy ways you can support the campaign – from signing up to volunteer from just one hour a year, to helping spread the word. See how you can make a difference.

Take a look at media coverage for our new campaign: