About Inspiring the Future

The charity Education and Employers runs Inspiring the Future which connects state schools and colleges with employers and people from the world of work. It has been developed following extensive consultation with range of stakeholders – employers, education, government, third sector and intermediaries. We have volunteers from:

  • all levels – apprentices to CEOs
  • all jobs – archaeologists to zoologists
  • all over the UK

who pledge just one hour a year to volunteer in a state school or college near where they live or work to talk to young people about their job and career route.

Teachers and volunteers are connected through a secure website, selecting people who best meet the needs of their students from a range of sectors and professions. At the heart is volunteers talking informally about their job, career and their educational route. In addition, volunteers can select a number of areas of expertise that might be of interest to student – e.g. apprenticeships, enterprise, maths, financial literacy, languages, engineering and technology etc.

Using the concept of online match making, Inspiring the Future uses the latest software used by leading companies for online shopping and online booking etc. and was initially developed pro-bono by Deloitte, a leading consultancy business. By investing in (B2B Salesforce software), it can be rolled out free of charge to schools, colleges and employee volunteers.


Watch our Inspiring the Future: How it works YouTube clip



Launched in July 2012, Inspiring the Future initially covered secondary schools and colleges in England, but has recently been extended to Scotland and the Isle of Man, and is currently being extended to Wales and Northern Ireland. There has also been interest from a number of other countries wishing to use the system and discussions are currently underway.

Inspiring the Future for Primary Schools

Following request from primary schools, Inspiring the Future has now been extended to primary schools under the name – Primary Futures.

Primary Futures aims to raise aspirations by helping primary aged children understand the link between learning in school and the world of work, to motivate them to improve their academic performance. The ask of volunteers is the same, with a commitment of one hour a year to talk to young people, and we have added new activities of reading and number partners which are specifically aimed at the primary audience.


Inspiring the Future now enables us to run a number of campaigns and themed weeks encouraging employers and volunteers from specific sectors, professions and demographics to sign-up, working with schools and colleges to engage their young people. These include:

Inspiring Women – the national Inspiring Women campaign launched October 2013 and already has 24,000 amazing women ready to talk with girls in state schools about the ‘job they do’ and route they took. The purpose is to raise aspirations and break down job gender stereotypes which are evident from age 6. Our ambition is to see these women from a wide range of occupations going into state schools collectively talking to 500,000 young women. We already have 20,000 women so let’s make it 30,000 by 2017!

Apprenticeships – running year round campaigns in schools and colleges, encouraging them to invite current and former apprentices to talk with young people about what an apprenticeship is and how you apply for one

Inspiring Languages – to encourage language teachers to invite volunteers using languages in their job to talk with school and college pupils to bring classroom learning to life. See our practical guide to Inspiring Languages: Inspiring Languages pamphlet (PDF)

We are also currently planning with partners a number of other campaigns including one on diversity, special education needs and boys.

New Activities

In addition to the one hour career insight talks, in response to demand from schools, colleges and volunteers we have extended the system to include a number of additional activities that teachers can select volunteer from. These follow the same format of a one hour a year commitment and include:

Help with CVsgiving young people feedback and advice on their CVs

Mock Interviewshelping young people practise their communication skills in realistic interview scenarios for jobs, Apprenticeships, Higher Education entry etc.

Numeracy  – taking part in a numeracy related activity with a group of primary school children. This could be a one off activity which could evolve into more regular involvement if you and the school both wish

Readingreading to children or listening to them read in a primary school, either individually or in groups. This could be a one off activity which could evolve into more regular involvement if you and the school both wish

School Governorvolunteers interested in an informal discussion with schools about becoming a school governor or trustee, and schools looking for people to join their governing board can select this activity

For further details go to www.inspiringthefuture.org or contact enquiries@inspiringthefuture.org

How the technology works

To learn more about the technology powering our online matching of schools and volunteers read this Salesforce and ITF blog that explains how it works:

Salesforce Foundation Inspiring the Future blog: http://www.salesforcefoundation.org/connecting-schools-colleges-employers-salesforce/