From education to employment

Over 10,000 young people experience work with local businesses

Following a recent evaluation of a Futures service, we are incredibly proud to share that over 10,000 young people across the D2N2 area have participated in events and activities to prepare them for leaving school and entering the workforce.  

Through collaborations with 175 small and medium enterprises across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire, thousands of young people have been given essential insights into the world of work, helping them to feel motivated and encouraged to find local employment opportunities. 

From April 2020 to December 2023, we were able to facilitate vital links between local businesses and education providers, with the aim of closing the skills and knowledge gaps between young people leaving education and local employers looking to bring new talent to their workforces.  

The success of these efforts has provided lasting benefits to participants on all sides, with SMEs reporting: 

  • A deeper understanding of the essential links between business and education, and the impact these links have on workforce development in their local area 
  • Improved knowledge of how local businesses can contribute to the economic growth of their area 
  • An increase in their ability to create meaningful relationships in their communities 
  • The opportunity to provide work-based learning routes such as apprenticeships to local young people  
  • Improved tools to influence how well young people are prepared for the world of work 

“Our experience was very positive and useful.” 

Aegis Business Services Ltd.

The schools involved also noted the positive impact of the scheme, with a focus on: 

  • A significant increase in the attainment of Gatsby Benchmarks  
  • The creation of an effective and successful careers education programme 
  • The ability to help students develop their soft skills and knowledge of local industries 
  • The opportunities created for students within local businesses 

Through the connections that were created, local employers from a range of industries have provided various activities to the young people in their communities. Students had the opportunity to participate in events such as mock interviews, careers fairs, work experience opportunities, career talks, CV workshops, 1-2-1 mentoring, networking, sessions on managing finances and employability skills, and more.  

Our regional approach focused on connecting with local SMEs, rather than larger corporate organisations, which has meant we were able to identify and tackle key skills disparities in the D2N2 area. As a result, businesses were able to deliver sessions on the industry knowledge required to prepare school leavers for employment in their local area. 

At the end of delivery, the employers involved highlighted the success of the programme and the positive impact they had had on the students they’d engaged with, and the additional benefit of having been given the opportunity to showcase the value of their business to their local community.  

Many of the employers involved went above and beyond their duties, putting in a great amount of time and effort to make their contribution to the programme as impactful as it could be. It is thanks to their dedication that we were able to provide support to so many young people preparing to leave education.  

“This programme has provided over 10,000 young people with the opportunity to learn about the world of work, gaining real-life industry knowledge from experts in their field, providing meaningful career experiences. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with our delivery partners to see the success of the programme and hope that the activities have left a lasting impression on the future workforce.”  

Amanda Payne, Director of Operations at Futures

The programme was called The Unlocking Potential Hub and was delivered in partnership by Futures, Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council, The Princes Trust and Workpays, with further collaboration from Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council and the East Midlands Chamber. 

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