The education charity Future First has been awarded a second round of government funding to extend its work improving young people’s employability skills and boosting their ambition in areas where careers advice is lacking.
The new money from The Careers and Enterprise Company means Future First is the only organisation working in all the government’s 12 opportunity areas benefiting 50,000 state school and college students by broadening their jobs horizons.
The new funding will help an additional 10,600 students at 19 state secondary schools and colleges in Bradford, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich and Stoke-on-Trent, areas identified by the government as careers ‘cold spots’ where careers advice is lacking.
Future First’s successful schemes have already benefited 40,000 students in the first six opportunity areas - Blackpool, Derby, Norwich, Oldham, Scarborough and West Somerset – and will continue next academic year.
The funding from The Careers and Enterprise Company, set up by the government in 2015 to transform careers support and guidance for young people, comes at a time when schools are required to improve focus on careers provision and ensure that young people have access to the employer encounters they need to prepare for their futures.
Future First research shows alumni can transform students’ motivation by acting as relatable role models grounded in the community, proving to current students that ‘people like me’ can succeed.
Under the initiative, Future First will enable careers staff and teachers in each school to build a sustainable alumni network registering hundreds of employers as volunteers and engaging them to inspire thousands of today’s students. The alumni will volunteer in assemblies and workshops, offer work experience and intensive world at work days when students will broaden their jobs horizons by meeting former students in a diverse range of fields. School staff will also be taught how to successfully harness alumni experience and skills to support current students, meeting each school’s individual needs.
Matt Lent, Chief Executive of Future First said, “The government has clearly recognised the value that former students provide in acting as relatable role models who can inspire and motivate today’s young people. If students see that someone who sat at the same school desk, perhaps had the same teachers and is from the same background has gone on to succeed, they are more likely to believe they can too.”
Claudia Harris, Chief Executive Officer of The Careers and Enterprise Company, said,
“The opportunity areas are all different and challenging, yet the Future First programme has been successful across all of them. The research shows that the most important thing about role models is that they are relatable, that core insight is so powerful and effective and that’s one of the reasons we love what Future First does.”
Schools and colleges taking part in the new round of funding are: Beckfoot Oakbank School, Beckfoot Thornton, Bingley Grammar School, Feversham College, Hanson Academy , Ilkley Grammar School and Southfield School in Bradford, Cromwell Community College, Sir Harry Smith Community College, Soham Village College and Witchford Village College in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Doncaster College and Hall Cross Academy in Doncaster, Sussex Coast College Hastings and The St Leonards Academy in Hastings, City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College, The Discovery Academy and Sir Thomas More Catholic Academy in Stoke-on-Trent and Suffolk New College in Ipswich.
For further information Future First contact Press officer Sue Crabtree on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 239 8933 or click here
About Future First
Future First is a leading national education charity with the vision that every state school and college should be supported by a thriving, engaged community of former students who help schools do more for current students.
Future First has worked in more than a thousand state schools and colleges across Britain enabling state schools to harness the talents of alumni to inspire and support current students as career and education role models, work experience providers, mentors and e-mentors, governors, donors and fundraisers and as volunteers more widely.
More than 226,000 former students are registered with Future First to stay connected with their former state school or college. They include leading employers, celebrities and everyday heroes in a range of careers from the professions of law and medicine to plumbing and photography.
Every day, Future First alumni are acting as relatable role models to students in their old seats, with stories that are inspirational but also achievable.
Alumni networks have been utilised by many private schools and universities for generations. Future First is the first organisation to embed alumni networks across the state sector.
Future First/YouGov research shows:
· 70 per cent of 16 to 19-year-olds think it will be hard to get a job when they leave school or college.
· Nearly 39 per cent don’t know anyone in a job they would like to do.
· Ex-state school students are ten times more likely to view themselves as unsuccessful compared with their privately educated peers.
· 75 per cent of state school students who attend a Future First event say they are motivated to work harder in school now.
· More than 10 million British adults are willing to support current students at their former state school or college.