Careers Inspiration For Every Child

by Form the Future CIC
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Careers Inspiration For Every Child
Careers Inspiration For Every Child
Careers Inspiration For Every Child
Careers Inspiration For Every Child
Careers Inspiration For Every Child
Careers Inspiration For Every Child
Careers Inspiration For Every Child
Careers Inspiration For Every Child
Careers Inspiration For Every Child
Careers Inspiration For Every Child
Careers Inspiration For Every Child
Careers Inspiration For Every Child
Careers Inspiration For Every Child
Students working on team work experience challenge
Students working on team work experience challenge

As things start to open up in the UK after more than a year in and out of lockdowns, we look forward to delivering services to children face to face. While it's going to be gradual - some of our STEM company partners aren't ready to run project days at their premises until 2022 - the good news is that we've discovered how much we can do through virtual engagement.

At the end of April, we ran a week of virtual work experience at one of our partner schools in Peterborough. We worked with Nene Park Academy to provide 195 year 10 students with five days meeting employers from five different companies: MetroBank (banking), Morgan Sindall (construction), Marshall Aerospace & Defence (engineering), Cambridge University Press (publishing), and Anglian Water (utility). Each company set a challenge for the students to complete in teams and present back to the employers. After a year when very few students got the chance to spend time in a workplace or meet people beyond their families, it was an eye-opening and rewarding experience. We now hope to offer this programme to schools across our region and hope that hundreds more students will benefit this summer.

We also ran our first online virtual careers fair for 16-19 year olds, with over 400 students, from some 30 different schools. 42 companies took stalls in our virtual exhibition space or joined discussions covering topics like apprenticeships and starting your own business. The most popular session was run by Form the Future's own careers advisors called "What to do if you don't know what to do." This tells us how important it is that we're reaching out to young people now to help them navigate an uncertain future.

Form the Future has strengthened during lockdown. While we may not have reached the usual large numbers of students, we have kept going, providing services virtually, which has allowed us to connect with schools and young people outside of our usual area. We will continue to offer online services so that we can continue to expand our reach, even while we restart our in-person activities.

Young people may not have suffered physically, but lockdown has taken its toll on their learning and their confidence. We are ready to do whatever we can to help them rebuild and grow, preparing them for their future and helping them enjoy the journey.

Thank you for helping to make our work possible.

Kind regards

Anne Bailey

CEO, Form the Future CIC

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I'm writing this on the first day of 2021 and my thoughts are less about looking back and more about moving forward. But it's worth reflecting on 2020 which was a challenging year for so many. Our work has always involved working directly in schools or bring school students into businesses so when the pandemic led to lockdowns we needed to completely rethink our delivery model. Fortunately, we're big fans of technology and were quick to adapt. And while elements of what we do are lost - 3000 work experience placements were cancelled - there are gains, too, as digital delivery transcends time and space allowing us to reach new beneficiaries.

Highlights from the last quarter of 2021 include our Annual Conference, with distinguished educators, Professor Anna Vignoles and Oli de Botton, informing and inspiring more than 150 delegates from business, education and the civic sectors. We were also joined by business leaders, Jane Paterson-Todd, Alex Hughes and Naily Makangu, and local and national politicians, Cllr Neil Gough and Anthony Browne MP. Events like this remind us that our work is only possible with the full support of our community. 

We occupy a unique place at the intersection between learners / future employees and businesses with job opportunities and a need for skilled labour and we enter 2021 knowing that our work has never been more needed. Young people and those furthest from the labour market have been hit hardest by the economic downturn. We need to redouble our efforts to protect a generation from long-term economic scarring. 

The good news is that Form the Future has survived this far. We've added staff and developed new tools, built new partnerships and we believe we're in a strong position to provide exactly what's needed right now.

But like every non-profit, we must continue to raise funds to deliver our services. Your support means so much to us. Thanks for all you've given in the past. Please consider us for your donations in 2021.

Best wishes for a healthy and happier 2021.

Anne Bailey 

CEO, Form the Future CIC

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Courtesy of Luke Jones
Courtesy of Luke Jones

We've all had to adapt in the face of the pandemic and none more so than young people who have not been able to go to school for months.  As schools start a new academic year with socially distanced class-rooms and all sorts of other measures in place to contain the virus, we at Form the Future are continuing to make sure that we are able to provide careers inspiration virtually. 

We have teamed up with various partners to offer an array of online resources:

  • we worked with the National Health Service to showcase the wealth and diversity of careers avaiable in the health sector including the vast number of non-clinical roles from information analysts and activity co-ordinators to project managers and change agents 
  • we teamed up with a group of Changemaker students from Homerton College, University of Cambridge, to produce a series of videos to help young people make the decision about going to university which can be a difficult one especially now
  • we invited a group of young people to help us design our new website as part of a virtual hackathon so we can be sure that they can find the right careers information that they need
  • we are working with our many volunteers to record a series of Careers Q&A videos to give young people an insight to the career journeys that they have taken

We have invested in improving our website and in video recording and editing equipment so that we can provide a high quality virtual experience. We are continuing to collaborate with our employer partners to design engagement activities. 

Throughout the crisis, we have kept in touch with schools and employers so that we are ready to re-introduce our careers events and activities when it is safe to do so.

We know that now more than ever, with economic uncertainty facing us, young people need our help, particularly those who left school or graduated this summer and we're ready to support them.  

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The new virtual reality - online resources
The new virtual reality - online resources

It's fair to say that in the last few weeks, we've all had to adapt to new ways of living and working.  There isn't a corner of the globe that hasn't felt the impact of Covid-19 and it's no different for us here at Form the Future and for the children and young people that we and you support. 

The abrupt closure of schools in the UK meant that many young people were not able to sit exams and their hopes for the future were cast into doubt as workplaces went into lockdown and recruitment plans were put on hold as businesses entered survival mode.  Looking ahead, dire economic predictions will have huge implications for whole industries and this will impact the career aspirations of college and school leavers.  

Under these circumstances, it's now more important than ever that young people get good quality, professional careers education, information, advice and guidance and we are still here providing that.  We can't physically go into schools anymore or take children into workplaces but we've moved to offering online resources to support young people at this very difficult time.

We are also working hard to develop our delivery model to offer more virtual content and experiences.  In fact, one silver lining to this crisis is that we will be able to reach even more young people as doing things virtually increasingly becomes the norm and distance becomes less of a barrier. 

Last week, we gathered nearly 40 leading buisness people together in an online meeting to inspire them about our STEM initiative, Cambridge LaunchPad, and we are hopeful that many more will want to get involved as the importance of developing the next generation of changemakers and problem-solvers becomes even more apparent. 

Working with our partners and volunteers, we are looking ahead positively to the future whilst continuing to deliver our services, albeit differently with a blend of the digital and the physical.  We will come out of this stronger and we'll be ready to meet the challenges of a changed world and will continue to provide careers inspiration for every child. 

Thank you for your support. 

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Horizon Discovery Photo
Horizon Discovery Photo

In the last three months of 2019 we continued to inspire children across Cambridgeshire and ventured further into East Anglia, working with schools in Norwich and Ipswich.  In this report, we report on just a few of the highlights.  

In October we organised two major careers fairs:

  • In Cambridge we came together at Impington Village College with 550 students and more than 30 employers for Opportunities Ahead, showcasing many different careers that young people could aspire to, ranging from electronic engineering to marketing
  • In Norwich we held our first Greater Norwich Opportunities Fair for nearly 1,000 students and 68 exhibitors, with more activities planned in the city for 2020

Cambridge LaunchPad, managed by Form the Future, continued to deliver STEM-focused Project Days with leading science and technology companies.  The day at Horizon Discovery in November was a particular highlight. Year 10 students from three secondary schools were tasked with using DNA to solve a murder and learned about some of the career and education pathways into the life sciences.

Julian Fox, Teacher of Science from Bottisham Village College, said: “An excellent opportunity for students to learn some of the processes that scientists have to go through to analyse DNA. A really enjoyable, well run day with excellent volunteers.”

We ended 2019 with our Annual Conference.  More than 100 delegates representing all our partners came together to discuss the theme 'Inequality is bad for business and companies have a role to play in creating a fairer society', with particular emphasis on breaking down barriers to give opportunities to more young people.  We also shared our Impact Report for 2018-19.  We reached18,837 students that year, ran 291 events and worked with 649 volunteers.  

We are looking forward to all the exciting things we will be doing in 2020 to deliver careers inspiration for every child.

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Organization Information

Form the Future CIC

Location: Cambridge - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @form_future
Project Leader:
Anne Bailey
Cambridge, United Kingdom
$2,693 raised of $25,674 goal
 
44 donations
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