Iceland launch Stækkaðu framtíðina (Inspiring the Future)

Today, Iceland launched their own version of our Inspiring the Future/Primary Futures programmes. They have called it Stækkaðu framtíðina’, which translates into English as ‘Expand the Future’ as there isn’t quite a direct translation of the word ‘inspiring’ in Icelandic. The aim of the project is to help ensure equal opportunities and access to jobs that are in line with young people’s skills and interests, regardless of their background or location.

Expand the Future will give primary and secondary aged pupils the opportunity to discover different jobs and hear from a range of professionals they might not typically have the chance to meet. It will see volunteers from the world of work visiting classes to discuss their careers, describe their background and talk about how their studies have been useful in their careers.

The British Ambassador to Iceland, Dr Bryony Mathew, who has volunteered with Inspiring the Future in the UK, said “Stækkaðu framtíðina will help young people learn about the huge opportunities that await them. It will let them hear from people in amazing careers like polar oceanographers, robotics engineers and green design architects, jobs that they will never have heard about before. If young people don’t know about careers then they won’t choose them, it’s that simple.”

Twelve years of research from our programme shows that these experiences will have positive impact for children and young people, helping to challenge stereotypes, raise aspirations, improve academic attainment and more.

Nick Chambers, Chief Executive of Education and Employers who initiated and runs the Inspiring the Future programme, said “We are delighted that the government of Iceland has launched Stækkaðu framtíðina with the aim of ensuring that that every young person in the country gets the chance to meet and interact with someone who can inspire them, show them what is possible and excite them about the subjects they are learning in school.”

Expand the Future is following Inspiring the Future’s example and encouraging volunteers to take part by giving as little of their time as just one hour a year.

Volunteer from an hour a year

The Expand the Future project has been set up and funded by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation and the Ministry of Education and Children’s Affairs and is being implemented by The School of Education at the University of Iceland. Speaking at the launch were Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation and Ásmundur Einar Daðason, Minister of Education and Children’s Affairs, as well as Bryony Mathew.

Inspiring the Future has been replicated in a number of countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland, with other countries preparing to join.

Read about the launch of our career-related programme in Canada, commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Child Care, British Columbia.

For anyone wishing to get involved please contact Ragna Skinner, Project Leader, at
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