Future First creates opportunities for students who attend state secondary schools and colleges by establishing and maintaining alumni networks.
The charity provides the infrastructure for schools and colleges to engage, track and mobilise their former students – both distant and recent graduates.
Every school and college have, amongst their alumni, a host of potential career and education role models, volunteers, donors, work experience providers, governors, mentors and e-mentors. Future First helps them to harness this resource through an innovative model that builds on best practice from the private sector. Future First facilitates former students to return to their old schools to talk to current students about their jobs, experiences in the workplace and to give advice about how to pursue a particular career.
50% of pupils aged 14 and above would like greater opportunities for "employer engagement". 91% of them also say they would love for former students and people in jobs to be engaged as career role models in their school/college. Hearing from workers about their jobs provides students with an invaluable insight into potential careers routes, as well as an understanding of the skills they need to develop.
Trade unions and Future First have a shared ethos of improving social mobility. By working with state secondary schools and colleges, Future First aims to change the reality that nearly 40% of state school students do not know anyone in a job they would like to do. By reconnecting with alumni, schools and colleges will have access to relatable role models who can raise the aspirations of young people, improve their career confidence and knowledge and motivate them to work harder at school.
Where do union representatives fit in?
Unionlearn is working with Future First to promote the benefits of the programme to ULRs and other union reps. Union reps play a unique role in the workplace and, through their breadth of experience, could provide young people at their old school/college with a fascinating insight into the workplace.
In addition, the role that union learning reps (ULRs) play in mentoring, coaching and supporting others would make them ideal candidates to participate in the Future First programme.
What does it involve?
Would you like to help pupils at your old school? If so, you can really make a difference to the current students sat in your old seats! It doesn’t matter if you no longer live nearby, or haven’t got much time to give, there are still ways you can offer your support.
Register with Future First if you are interested in getting involved.