Lancashire, October 2021: Seventy one schools in disadvantaged areas around the UK are set to receive support from the Inspiring Futures Project (Project IF), led by the charity Young Enterprise, to help young people build t the skills and opportunity needed for their onward careers.
This month, Young Enterprise CEO Sharon Davies and Young Enterprise President William Salomon are visited three schools in the North West, to speak directly with young people s who have previously benefited or are currently benefiting from the activities of Project IF.
A total of 111 schools in disadvantaged areas of the UK that are likely to find it the most challenging to recover from the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, will now be receiving support from Young Enterprise through the Inspiring Futures Project.
The Inspiring Futures Project supports young people by giving them the opportunity to broaden their horizons and unlock their creative potential in business.
Recent research from the Children’s Commission revealed that 14 per cent of children in the North West are unhappy about their lives which highlights the need for practical action to make them more optimistic about their futures.
Through the generous support of Young Enterprise’s President William Salomon, The Inspiring Futures Project provides young people in some of the most deprived constituencies across the country with opportunities that could change the trajectory of their futures and their communities.
With access to fully funded careers and enterprise programmes, young people are supported to build work readiness skills, develop enterprising mindsets and raise their aspirations. Ultimately the project will support young people to contribute to their community through increasing their chances in gaining employment.
Research shows that when a young person has four or more encounters with an employer, they are five times less likely to be unemployed in their adult life. Currently, these life-changing opportunities are not available to all. The Inspiring Futures Project aims to address these inequalities by providing concrete opportunities for young people to build and apply new skills, with the support from volunteers from the world of work.
The Company Programme, which is a key programme within The Inspiring Futures Project has recently supported local Accrington schoolgirls, Amelia and Megan, in setting up their own social enterprise Supporting the Streets to combat homelessness in Lancashire.
Since engaging with Young Enterprise’s Company Programme and setting up Supporting the Streets, Amelia went on to receive the Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots most outstanding individual in 2019. As a result of the partnership Amelia also recently won the 2021 Princess Diana Award.
Both Amelia and Megan have gone on to set up multiple businesses, with Megan’s recent phone cover design business doing particularly well. As part of her Gold Duke of Edinburgh award, Amelia has taken over the social media marketing for Churchfield House.
Speaking on The Inspiring Futures Project, Amelia said: “I am delighted that Project IF is being delivered at St Christopher’s and is expanding across the UK, it will be so beneficial to the development of many future young entrepreneurs. I benefitted from setting up our social enterprise even after I finished the programme. Being given the tools and support, both practically and emotionally were crucial when thinking about how Supporting the Streets could evolve and make the most impact in our community.”
“It’s been a pretty challenging time for young people following the pandemic and getting the right support is often the difference between being in the mindset of doing something for your future and feeling a little lost. Every young person should be given opportunity and a chance to explore what they want to do in the future, and it is often the way to make the most difference.”
Megan also added: “I doubt I would have some of the skills I’ve now developed if it wasn’t for the Company Programme and I’m pleased that Project IF will give many more the same opportunity. It gave us the confidence and necessary skills to become entrepreneurial. I’m so glad that other young people, especially those facing barriers because of where they live, can have access to an initiative that builds a solid foundation for their futures.”
In the inaugural year of its launch, and even despite the difficulties of pandemic disruption, The Inspiring Futures Project engaged with 35 Schools across the North of England. The project now aims to widen its reach across England and Wales to an additional 71 schools in its second year of existence.
To support the continued development of this project, Young Enterprise would love to hear from individuals or businesses who are keen to support young people and help to remove barriers to social mobility.