When filling out your profile you will have selected the activities you are interested in volunteering for in the ‘volunteering opportunities’ tab. These summaries provide you with information on what each activity entails.
You can also check out the how to guides on the platform where there is a more detailed breakdown of each activity, what to expect, the benefits and how to prepare. Please note all activities are referred to as opportunities on the Inspiring the Future portal so when it says ‘manage opportunities’ it means your events and activities.
As well as in-person activities, you can take part in virtual activities with Inspiring the Future. On this page we have noted the activities that can work really well virtually.
Activities inside school
Career insight talks are a great opportunity for professionals to talk to pupils about their career and to link learning to the wider world of work. Talks could happen in an assembly, careers class, subject lesson (e.g. a doctor talking to a biology class) or to a small group of students. They can be made interactive with volunteers asking young people questions and bringing props or a presentation to supplement the talk. Talks can last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes and usually include a Q&A session. They are valuable for both primary and secondary age pupils. Please note schools can use ‘career insight talks’ as an umbrella term for a range of activities. Ideal for virtual
‘What’s my Line?’ is a fun, interactive activity to play with primary school children that gets them thinking about what it is like to do different kinds of jobs and brings their learning to life. This enjoyable activity also helps to challenge gender stereotypes and broaden horizons. Usually involving between 3-5 volunteers from the world of work, this assembly-based activity invites children to take turns asking yes or no questions to guess what your job might be. After asking a series of questions, the panel will leave the hall to collect any props or change into their uniform/work clothes, before revealing what they do to the pupils. Ideal for virtual
Speed networking is a quick and fun way to help pupils gain insights into different careers and broaden their aspirations. It works in a similar way to ‘speed dating’ and involves volunteers from different sectors and professions participating in an informal Q&A session with pupils. Speed networking events usually take about an hour and involve anywhere between 50-100 pupils. Typically, pupils sit in groups at tables in a large room, and volunteers rotate to a different table every 8-10 minutes. This activity works well with pupils of all ages.
A careers fair is often a larger activity hosted by a secondary school where volunteers are required to support a stand which represents their organisation/sector. Volunteers generally man the stand for the duration of the session with students moving around the space and speaking to volunteers. Volunteers are encouraged to bring leaflets for students to take away with them. Careers fairs can vary in time and the number of students participating is dependant on the size of the fair.
Help with CVs – you may be invited by a school to supplement career or employability events or sessions, through supporting work on CVs. This could include providing feedback on CVs or being asked to run a workshop on how to create a successful CV. You can share insights on what recruiters traditionally look for in a CV and tips and tricks you’ve learnt from your own experience. These activities give students the opportunity to gain feedback on their current CVs, so that they can prepare themselves fully for when they do apply for jobs, giving them the best chance of securing a job. Ideal for virtual
Mock interviews are an opportunity for volunteers to help young people prepare for interview situations. Mock interviews typically take place in the school but can happen in a business setting. While as much as possible they follow the format and conditions of an actual interview, they normally last from 10-20 minutes and include time for the professional to give constructive feedback to the student. This is an especially good activity for professionals with experience of staff recruitment. Ideal for virtual
Activities outside school
Job shadowing is a type of work experience in which a student follows an employee or employees through a typical workday. It allows firsthand, intensive knowledge of the workplace and is generally aimed at older students who have a fairly clear idea of the kind of work they want to do and want to learn more about a specific career or industry. Job shadowing can be done in any field, but works well with hands-on careers, where showing is more effective than telling. Generally, students are not given work to do, but they might be allowed to try their hand at certain practical activities. Placements usually last 1-2 days, unlike work placements which require a commitment of a few weeks.
Workplace visits involve groups of students, anywhere from 5 to 30, of any age, coming into a workplace for a half or full day to learn more about that industry. The format of the day will be up to the employer and can be done in lots of different ways, but it normally follows this general structure:
- A tour of the workplace.
- Speakers from various departments and levels talking about their job, their career path, and/or recruitment within the organisation.
- Some form of interactive activity. This could be a hands-on demonstration, an ice breaker activity, or an employability skills workshop.
Work experience is a short-term, temporary placement for a young person in a workplace generally lasting up to two weeks. Students might undertake junior-level tasks that give them an insight into the industry. The experience could also include mock interviews, talks and workshops, site visits, project work, mentoring work and virtual activities. Students are eligible to undertake work experience if they are 14 or older and have the written consent of a parent/guardian.