Our year at Inspiring the Future

This academic year has been full of achievements, celebrations and challenges. We’d like to share highlights of the year from Inspiring the Future schools and thank our supporters and stakeholders for continuing to help inspire younger generations. 


Since September 2019, over 1,000 schools have worked with us to reach over 250,000 children and young people. This includes helping to deliver nearly 200 virtual activities reaching over 6,000 students, many directly from their homes. Our incredible community has worked together to hold a great range of exciting events and activities – read about one of the face-to-face events that took place this year. 

In May this year, working with schools and colleges, we launched our virtual interactive sessions, allowing young people to connect with inspiring volunteers from their devices at home and in school. Our online ‘Career Chats’ were developed together with teachers to produce effective experiences and resources for students. There has been such positive feedback from teachers, volunteers and students and we look forward to continuing to work with schools to inspire young people remotely in the next academic year. We also shared exclusive pre-recorded talks with NHS staff, which schools can access by getting in touch. 

In January, our charity Education and Employers released a major report titled “Disconnected: Career Aspirations and Jobs in the UK”. Based on a survey of 8,500 young people, 7000 of whom are in the UK, the findings show a considerable disparity between the jobs young people want and the jobs that may be available to them when leaving school. It points to the importance of learning about careers in schools and hearing from real life role models who can share lessons from the world of workRead the full report. 

Events and achievements 

In October 2019 Education and Employers celebrated 10 years of working with schools to inspire and motivate students via innovative and inspiring programmes, including Inspiring the Future. We marked the occasion with a celebratory event at Draper’s Hall with speeches and special performances. During this week we also launched our I am #InspiringTheFuture campaign to build up a 100,000-strong national network of volunteers from the world of work, giving millions of children and young people the opportunity to meet role models from every industry, profession and sector. Read our 10th Anniversary Brochure. 

Over the year, lots of Inspiring the Future schools held events and workshops with the Mirror newspaper and our NHS Ambassadors, alongside a number of events enabling students to visit Bank of America HQ in London and take part in speed networking. 

Lots of teachers and school staff also joined our new Inspiring the Future teacher ambassadors scheme to create an online community for schools and colleges to share and learn about best practice, and showcase the work they have done to inspire the future. If you are interested in becoming an ambassador, you can get involved here. 


We’d like to share some of the feedback we have received from young people, teachers and volunteers this year: 

Young people learnt: 

 “I learnt that you can change your career at any time if you want and that there are lots more types of jobs than I first thought.” 

 “This helped me to understand that learning doesn’t stop at school, but carries on throughout life” 

 “I learnt that there is a variety of different jobs in the world and I don’t have to settle for one at a very young age.”  

“To never give up, follow your gut and passion and to work hard.”  

“Lots of lessons you learn in school are useful in the long run” 

“I learnt to not let someone tell you that you can’t do something.” 

Teachers said: 

“There were professionals there that the students would never have access to so it was a wonderful experience for them” – Teresa Crowley, Notre Dame Roman Catholic Girls’ School  

“The volunteers were friendly and supportive and gave our learners a good insight into their roles as well as ideas of what they could achieve, skills required, the job market and resources.” – Ceri Wood, Hopwood Hall College      

“It was just so nice to see each professional convey the idea that it’s okay to take time to choose your profession and that you should always be yourself.” – Teacher participating in a virtual session 

“It was just so lovely to see how enthusiastic and charismatic all of the professionals were as well as being so passionate about their jobs.” – Teacher participating in a virtual session 

Volunteers said: 

“It’s been such an amazing thing to do and the reason I’ve enjoyed it so much is because I love seeing the response from the young people and knowing I have made a difference in one way or another.” – Daniel Duffield 

 “I believe that young people are under so much pressure to achieve and be top of everything they do.  To instil in young people that they are highly regarded, give an insight into what can be achieved, and the different paths young people can take to get there is important.  Also, giving the information and motivation to change “I can’t because” to “I can” is paramount in my opinion.” – Una Madill 

“The kids were great! You forget sometimes how bright and curious they really are at that age – great session with them!” – Volunteer participating in a virtual session 

 Looking forward 

If you would like to get involved as a volunteer ready for the next academic year, you can sign up here. 

If you’re a teacher and your school would like to benefit from inspiring career-related activities and events, sign up here or log into your account. 

We hope you have a restful summer break and look forward to working with you in September.