01 April 2022

Commerce in the Classroom enters its third year

Future First is joining forces with the Commercial Education Trust (CET) for a third year to run the successful Commerce in the Classroom project.

Five schools, in the north west and north east of England and on the south coast, are set to benefit from the scheme as the initiative targets social mobility cold spots with a high percentage of students in receipt of Free School Meals.

Commerce in the Classroom offers the chance for students to meet former pupils and other volunteers working in trade and commerce so they have the opportunity to consider careers in the sector. 

Future First has a network of nearly 300 volunteers with a background in the international trade and commerce sector working in areas such as government policy, international trade research and commercial law. 

The project will this year give around 250 students from Years 10 and 12 the chance to learn more about possible career in the sector from people with first-hand experience of it.

Through a series of workshops and other activities, students at the five participating schools will get:

  • a thorough understanding of what international trade and commerce means and involves
  • more awareness of the career opportunities available in the sector
  • help to develop key transferable skills needed for a career in the field, such as negotiation, communications, problem solving and teamwork

In previous years Commerce in the Classroom has achieved impressive results. Last year the percentage of students taking part who felt they were capable of getting a job in international trade shot up from 42% before the workshops to 72% afterwards.

One participating student said: “The talk with the volunteer made me realise that anyone can work in international trade, it gave me more information about different opportunities that I hadn’t thought of before.”

Leon Ward, Programmes Innovations Director for Future First said: “Future First is committed to helping young people in state schools and colleges broaden their horizons by connecting them with former pupils and other volunteers who they can relate to.

“This third year of the Commerce in the Classroom initiative comes at a crucial time, with new research showing more than a third of secondary school students do not feel confident about the next steps they should take in education or training.

“The pandemic has contributed to this growing uncertainty for students and projects such as Commerce in the Classroom are key to overcoming it.

“We are grateful to the CET for the continued funding to make it possible for us to help ensure a young person’s start in life does not limit their future.”

Anne O’Hagan from the CET said: “We are delighted to be working again with Future First on Commerce in the Classroom following two highly successful years for the project.

“The aims and objectives of the initiative tie in with those of the CET, preparing young adults for life and the world of work. The CET believes that initiatives like these will have a long-lasting effect on the lives of young people and on their attitude to work and life.”

The five schools participating in this year’s Commerce in the Classroom initiative will be:

  • Co-op Academy in Bebington
  • Maghull High School in Liverpool
  • Hexham Middle School in Hexham
  • Poole High School in Poole
  • St Edward’s High School in Poole

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