Connections that inspire young people can be life-changing – Jo


A new scheme to send an army of volunteers into schools to give inspirational talks about their careers was launched in Scotland this week. 'Inspiring the Future' will allow state school students the chance to see, hear and make a connection with someone in a career or job they might not have thought about.

Research published in May by the Education and Employers Taskforce shows that 80 per cent of independent schools regularly bring external speakers into their schools to boost the career aspirations of their students. Many state schools lack the alumni links to give their students the same opportunities. The 'Inspiring the Future' initiative will play a key role in plugging this gap by connecting inspiring speakers with local schools.

The scheme was launched in England this past May by the Deputy Prime Minister and launched this week in Scotland and Wales. The aim is to recruit an 'aspiration army' of 100,000 volunteers that would allow every state school in the country to access a pool of speakers from a range of sectors and backgrounds, reaching one million young people across the UK by 2014. Local MP Jo Swinson has signed up to the scheme.

Commenting Jo said:

"Everyone remembers the person who inspired them to follow their chosen career, but without the links that independent schools have students at state schools too often get the message that the best jobs are not for them.

"Many successful people can point to a moment in their lives when they were inspired to become the people they are today. Now it's their turn to help young people fulfill their potential."

"So I'm calling on local residents to give up just an hour of their time to talk to students in their local state school about how they got where they are today. Employees willing to give a talk or schools interested in signing up for one can visit www.inspiringthefuture.org."


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