Form the Future is asking working people to give a gift to be proud of in 2023, by joining them as career ambassadors.
The Cambridge-based social enterprise works alongside 69 academic institutions across the Eastern Region to give students access and insight into the world of work and career options available to them.
At the core of the organisation is its community of career ambassadors, who share personal experiences and insight into their vocation and career pathways. Between them they deliver a programme of morning or afternoon activities at local schools, alongside other volunteers. Thanks to their support Form the Future supported more than 15,000 students during the 2021-2022 academic year, delivering 120 events and workshops.
A student from North Cambridge Academy who took part in Mock Interviews in November shared their reaction to the session:
“I liked how the interviewer made me feel quite relaxed in the beginning and helped me with lots of feedback to improve myself for my interview.”
Another, who was involved in a session called What’s My Line where students ask questions and guess a volunteer’s job, said:
“I liked most of the jobs because they were creative. Also, I liked how they described their job, which most of them I quite like and may consider it in the future.”
CEO of Form the Future, Anne Bailey, is passionate about the difference the organisation’s interventions can make:
“One of the key challenges facing young people today is the gap between the worlds of education and employment. Many young people find it difficult to navigate the transition from school to work, and they struggle to find the right career path or to gain the skills and experience they need to succeed in the job market. By providing a bridge between education and employment, career ambassadors can help young people to overcome these challenges and build successful careers.”
Demand from schools and their career programme requirements has almost doubled during the first school term of the year and is set to grow across 2023. As a result, Form the Future is looking to rapidly expand its community of career ambassadors:
Dawn Easby Thwaits, Ambassador Engagement Manager with Form the Future, explains who can get involved:
“Anyone who has ever entered the world of work has something to offer. We want to paint an accurate picture of the vast and diverse vocational opportunities available to young people and need representatives of every industry and career pathway. You might be a postman, virtual assistant, brain surgeon, writer, paramedic, mechanic, radio broadcaster, handy man, social media influencer, pet shop owner, tailor, singer: you get the idea!
Perhaps you reached your current career through an apprenticeship, vocational diploma, post doctorate – or (probably more likely) have had a non-linear journey to where you are now, taking in numerous different roles. Whatever your story, I’d love to hear from you and welcome you to the team.”
The organisation is also particularly interested in hearing from people who are within the first five years of their career, to become ‘Early Career Ambassadors’. Feedback from students has indicated how valuable it is to have a “near peer” share their experiences of moving from education into work. The scheme aims to furnish those signing up to take part with the skills and confidence to represent their company or field of work and includes three hours of bespoke training.
However, anyone who is passionate about connecting young people to a future of vocational possibility, irrespective of their stage of life or career, would be a valuable addition to the Form the Future team.
During the Spring Term, Form the Future is preparing to deliver more than 40 sessions. January sessions still requiring support include: Mock Interviews at Bassingbourn Village College (12 January) and Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology (19 January); What’s My Line at Sawston Village College (25 January) and Cambourne Village College (30 January); an Enterprise Day (dragon’s den style challenge to find, develop and pitch a business idea that solves a local or community problem) at Comberton Village College (17 January); and a Careers Carousel (mini-careers fair with half a dozen volunteers, each in a different classroom telling students about their career and answering their questions) at St Bede’s Inter-Church School in Cambridge (26 January).
If you would like to become career ambassador with Form the Future, register at formthefuture.org.uk/volunteer or call Dawn Easby Thwaits to find out more about what’s involved on 01223 948939. For further information on the times, locations and range of the outreach activities you can take part in, visit formthefuture.org.uk/events.