Future First’s CEO responds to the Edge Foundation Report

Commenting on the Edge Foundation’s latest Skills Shortages Report Lorraine Langham, Future First’s Chief Executive, said:

“The evidence in this report is a call to action to better support young people at this difficult time.

“The pandemic has shaken the confidence of UK students, with the study finding that among young people aged over 19 just 54% were confident they would be able to progress into a good job.

“In spite of the best endeavours of teachers and families, the chronic disruption to education during the last two years has led to enormous difficulty for young people preparing for the future. The report found a decrease in careers support, work experience and extracurricular activities to help them develop their skills. This inevitably hits poorer students the hardest.

“Future First supports schools in harnessing the power of their past pupils to help today’s students face the future with greater confidence.  Alumni are powerful role models who can  inspire, motivate and encourage students and provide them with the information, connections and knowledge they need to progress.

“Future First has launched a digital hub to offer a safe and secure place for school and college staff, students and alumni to come together online. Using this technology enables students to connect safely with the world of work, participate in on-line events, and be supported by alumni mentors and opportunities, virtually. By giving students the tools and information they need to explore and connect, we are reducing the burden on over-stretched schools and time-poor teachers, and empowering young people to connect with the world beyond their own experience.

“The report highlights that just 38% of young people in secondary schools are now benefiting from work experience and exposure to the world of work. We should grasp the opportunities that technology now provides to make sure no young person’s start in life limits their future.”