Project gets grant to improve young people’s job chances

Future First's alumni network
Future First's alumni network

An education charity is on track to set up a sustainable alumni network thanks to government funding.

Future First is one of six local projects to benefit from a £70,000 grant allocated to the town to improve the employability skills of young people. Hastings was chosen to receive the money, from The Careers and Enterprise Company, due to its status as an Opportunity Area.

Under the initiative, Future First will enable careers staff and teachers in Sussex Coast College Hastings and The St Leonards Academy to build a sustainable alumni network registering hundreds of employers as volunteers and engaging them to inspire thousands of today’s students.

The alumni will volunteer in assemblies and workshops, offer work experience and intensive world at work days when students will broaden their jobs horizons by meeting former students in a diverse range of fields.

School staff will also be taught how to successfully harness alumni experience and skills to support current students, meeting each school’s individual needs.

Future First research shows alumni can transform students’ motivation by acting as relatable role models grounded in the community, proving to current students that ‘people like me’ can succeed.

Matt Lent, chief executive of Future First, said: “The government has clearly recognised the value that former students provide in acting as relatable role models who can inspire and motivate today’s young people.

“If students see that someone who sat at the same school desk, perhaps had the same teachers and is from the same background has gone on to succeed, they are more likely to believe they can too.”

For further information about Future First, visit www.futurefirst.org.uk.