An education charity has been awarded Government funding to improve the employability skills of students in Doncaster by using former students.
Future First will use the money from the The Careers and Enterprise Company to broaden the jobs horizons and boost the ambition of students at a secondary school and college in the city by harnessing the talents and experience of former students.
Doncaster has been identified by the government as one of 12 opportunity areas, regions which face challenges in improving social mobility and enabling young people to succeed.
Under the initiative, Future First will enable careers staff and teachers in Hall Cross Academy and Doncaster College to build a sustainable alumni network registering hundreds of employers as volunteers and engaging them to inspire thousands of today’s students.
The alumni will volunteer in assemblies and workshops, offer work experience and intensive world at work days when students will broaden their jobs horizons by meeting former students in a diverse range of fields.
School staff will also be taught how to successfully harness alumni experience and skills to support current students, meeting each school’s individual needs.
Future First research shows alumni can transform students’ motivation by acting as relatable role models grounded in the community, proving to current students that ‘people like me’ can succeed.
The charity is working in all the government’s 12 opportunity areas
Its chief executive Matt Lent said: "“The government has clearly recognised the value that former students provide in acting as relatable role models who can inspire and motivate today’s young people.
"If students see that someone who sat at the same school desk, perhaps had the same teachers and is from the same background has gone on to succeed, they are more likely to believe they can too.”
The Careers and Enterprise Company was set up by the government in 2015 to transform careers support and guidance for young people.
Chief Executive Claudia Harris said: “The opportunity areas are all different and challenging, yet the Future First programme has been successful across all of them.
"The research shows that the most important thing about role models is that they are relatable, that core insight is so powerful and effective and that’s one of the reasons we love what Future First does.”