Young people deserve and benefit greatly from access to employers whilst they’re still at school. Research shows that young people who interact with employers during their time at school are far less likely to become NEET (not in education, employment or training).
Our employer programme complements the core work we undertake to build and develop communities of former students. Alumni volunteers boost students’ confidence, motivation and knowledge of career pathways.
We work with a range of employers, for partner staff to talk to young people, including in the workplace itself. This enables students to access the real experience, advice and motivation from a range of available jobs.
Each partnership is unique. Some organisations provide vital funding or pro bono support. Others provide hours of staff volunteering time or work with us to design impactful programmes. All of our partners help us to have a meaningful impact on young people, schools and their alumni up and down the country.
We are very grateful for the support of our past and present employer partners. If you are interested in becoming a partner or finding out more information please complete the form below.
The Careers and Enterprise CompanyREAD MORE
Taylor WessingREAD MORE
Rothschild & CoREAD MORE
Arc Pensions LawREAD MORE
Wellcome TrustREAD MORE
The KeyREAD MORE
Commercial Education TrustREAD MORE
The Blagrave TrustREAD MORE
Shawbrook BankREAD MORE
Pears FoundationREAD MORE
Jack Petchey FoundationREAD MORE
Garfield Weston FoundationREAD MORE
Esmée Fairbairn FoundationREAD MORE
The Dulverton TrustREAD MORE
Teach FirstREAD MORE
Northern Power WomenREAD MORE
Legal & GeneralREAD MORE
The Careers and Enterprise Company
Future First has received two rounds of funding from the government’s Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) to boost social mobility by helping prepare young people for the world of work.
In 2016, we received funding from the CEC to expand our work in the South West. The one-year programme supported 40 schools and colleges across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset to build a thriving network of former students. Across the year, we supported participating schools to sign up 6,000 of their former students and to enable 30,000 encounters between their students and alumni.
Following this success, in 2017 we received a second round of funding to help students see a world beyond their own in the government’s first six opportunity areas. We are working with 27 schools in Oldham, Blackpool, Scarborough, Norwich, Derby and West Somerset to build alumni communities which will help address identified gaps in careers and enterprise activity.
Since 2010, international law firm, Taylor Wessing, have worked in close partnership with Future First collaborating on a number of social mobility programmes. The most recent ‘Aspiration to Application' programme provides students with careers insights, skills workshops, mentoring relationships and work experience opportunities. Simultaneously the school alumni networks project provides inspirational and relatable role models to students at their own schools. These initiatives aim to equip young people to reach their full potential.
Taylor Wessing and Future First have worked closely to develop this unique programme of social mobility events, carefully designed to provide the best possible outcomes for students and volunteers alike. Taylor Wessing's professional volunteers are able to share their experiences and skills drawn from a wide range of career paths for the benefit of a young person's social mobility. Moreover, these volunteering opportunities encourage Taylor Wessing's staff and clients to take part in skills-based volunteering – developing their own skills at the same time as helping young people with low social mobility.
The multinational law firm Ashurst partners with Future First on the First Steps Programme. The programme sees 60 Year 6 pupils from Bonner Primary School in Tower Hamlets, London visit Ashurst’s London offices for a series of five insight mornings that provide pupils with aspiration raising experience and increased awareness of the careers available on their doorstep. Supported by over 40 Ashurst employee volunteers the interactive programme enhances pupils’ awareness of the types of jobs they might want to do in the future, develops their understanding of the steps to pursuing them and, begins to build the confidence and skills needed to excel in their academic and working lives.
UBS have funded Future First's In-House programme in the Bridge Academy, Hackney. The programme is designed to provide the school with hands-on support from Future First staff to embed an alumni programme across the school. The Bridge Academy has their own dedicated Future Fist Alumni Officer, who spends part of their time 'in house' at the school, helping staff to build and manage their network of former students and tracking the destination of students as they leave each year.
Rothschild & Co
Rothschild & Co. Charitable Giving Programme support Future First to develop and implement an innovative employability skills programme supporting young people at risk of being NEET (not entering education, employment or training).
The projects’ focus is students in Cornwall, Bristol, Newcastle and Cambridgeshire, developing their written and oral communication skills through the support of alumni role models. Students are matched and work with alumni from similar backgrounds over three years to improve their self-belief and develop their employability skills, improving their future education and employment opportunities.
Arc Pensions Law
As an Employer Partner, ARC Pensions Law supports Future First’s work by inviting Year 12 students from Future First’s network of schools who are eligible for free school meals or have parents who did not attend university to complete a week’s work experience placement at their London and Leeds office locations. Students have the opportunity to experience all aspects of a modern law firm, developing their professional and employability skills for a future career in law.
Wellcome and Future First partner to deliver Career Insight Days for young people at state schools in London. Staff from across the Trust participate, including those from communications, research, grants and investments departments. The volunteers coach and support students in creative activities designed to build students' confidence and to help them identify their strengths.
The Key and Future First partner to deliver Career Insight Days for young people at state schools in Plymouth and London. The whole day events aim to improve the employability skills and work readiness of Year 12 students. Staff from across the organisation volunteer their time, sharing their professional expertise in a variety of activities including CV writing, mock interviews and presentation skills workshops. Volunteers coach and support students, building their confidence and helping a young person understand the value of their own skills and strengths.
Commercial Education Trust
The Commercial Education Trust was one of the first supporters of Future First's 'Alumni in the Curriculum' programme.. The programme sees former students return to their old classrooms to 'co-teach' elements of the curriculum, which relates to their jobs, demonstrating how the school curriculum links to the world of work.
This strand of our work has been developed to bring the curriculum to life and engage students by showing the practical application of learning. With the support of CET, we have commissioned a full evaluation of the impact of the programme conducted by the International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCEGS) at the University of Derby. You can find the full report, as well as our 'Alumni in the Curriculum' toolkit in the tools and resources section of the website.
The Blagrave Trust
The Blagrave Trust has supported the pilot of Future First's In-House service. The project involves a Future First staff member working part-time on site to rapidly embed a culture of alumni engagement in each one. The In-House Alumni Officer for supports each school to build and grow their community of formers students to return to support today’s young people.
Shawbrook Bank and Future First work together to inspire young people in state schools near reach of Shawbrook’s offices. This included supporting Future First to pilot working in Scotland for the first time. Shawbrook also encourage their employees to sign up to their old school or college alumni network.
The Pears Foundation plays a key role in supporting Future First’s core work. Our partnership with The Pears Foundation has underpinned our national expansion and our transition to a more self-financing operating model. Their support has enabled us to have a bigger impact on students across our network of schools.
Jack Petchey Foundation
The Jack Petchey Foundation have supported Future First since 2013, providing subsidies for schools with the Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award in London and Essex, which is now our largest region.
Garfield Weston Foundation
Garfield Weston Foundation is one of Future First’s flagship partners. Garfield Weston’s support has been vital to supporting our network of schools reach more of their former students and deepen the impact they have had on current students. The partnership has also played a key role in our transition to a more self-financing operating model.
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has played a critical role in Future First’s development. Esmée Fairbairn were one of our earliest supporters. Our current partnership facilitated the arrival of our first Executive Chair, Christine Gilbert.
ZING were one of Future First’s original supporters and have remained a key partner and critical friend throughout our development. ZING have continued to advise on and support Future First’s technology development. ZING co-founders Chris White and Robin Tombs (currently) have also both served on Future First’s board.
The Dulverton Trust
The Dulverton Trust has supported Future First since 2014. Our first partnership focused on supporting Future First’s work in the North-West. Currently, the focus is on underpinning Future First’s transition to a more self-financing operating model.
Future First and SSAT partner on the Sustainable Alumni Communities project in the South West. The project is funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company and helps state schools and colleges across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.
Future First is one of Teach First’s Innovation Partners, working in close partnership to help end educational inequality in England and Wales. Teach First helps to accelerate the growth and impact of Future First’s programmes through a tailored package of support including specialist strategic advice, staff coaching and intensive training.
Northern Power Women
Future First is working with Northern Power Women (NPW) to give the next generation the support and encouragement they need to make a success of their lives, while also allowing businesses to connect with up-and-coming talent. NPW was born out of a need to accelerate gender equality in the North and currently has a 60,000-strong network.
Future First is pleased to be supporting Avado Learning with its flagship careers programme: FastFutures. FastFutures is a ground-breaking online work-readiness and personal skills programme for young people (18-22) from diverse backgrounds designed to prioritise underrepresented groups that are finding it harder than ever to enter the workplace. Founding Employer Partners, including Legal & General, Astra Zeneca, BT, Barclays, Tate & Lyle, AO.com, Octopus Investments, Health Education England, provide funding and mentoring to deliver this unique programme free of charge.
Legal & General
Legal & General is a British multinational financial services company including investment management, lifetime mortgages, pensions, annuities, and life assurance. With our partnership, state school students with an interest in the financial services from Year 10-12 attend a virtual taster workshop. Acting as role-models in the world of work, volunteers from Legal & General participate in a Q&A panel and skills-building activities that develop students' aspirations, employability skills and awareness of the world of work whilst providing an opportunity for Legal & General employees to gain awareness of issues regarding social mobility in the UK.