Bradford spearheading initiative to raise aspirations of young people

Justine Greening
Justine Greening
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EDUCATION Secretary Justine Greening has said a week of inspirational careers events being launched in primary and secondary schools across Bradford today is designed to “drive social mobility and raise the aspirations of young people.”

Bradford is the first city in the country to launch an initiative aimed at providing young people with a better understanding of the job opportunities and career routes that are open to them.

It is hoped the Primary Futures ‘Inspiring Bradford’ initiative, which involves high–profile people talking to children about their jobs, will form a blueprint for other parts of the country.

The week of events runs from today to next Thursday and each day has a different theme: business and economy, diversity, women in science, the arts and career routes such as apprenticeships and university.

High profile figures involved in the initiative include Andy Mellor, incoming president of the National Association of Head Teachers and Ann Mroz, editor of the Times Educational Supplement.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said: “Every young person, regardless of where they live, should have the support they need to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.

“The ‘Inspiring Bradford’ programme is a great example of the partnerships being set up in our 12 Opportunity Areas – of which Bradford is one – to drive social mobility and raise the aspirations of young people.

“Projects like this play a key role in broadening young people’s ambitions and providing positive role models to tackle the stereotypes around gender and ethnicity that can act as barriers to achieving their potential.

“I am delighted to support this work and look forward to hearing more of its success.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “Leaving it until secondary school to talk to children about the world of work is too late.

“Even though employment is years away, it is at primary school where children first begin to dream about what they will become when they are grown up. Primary Futures allows pupils access to a wide range of people who can help to inspire them.

“Primary Futures events in schools show young learners that anything is possible if they work hard and dream big.”

Primary Futures events were due to be held today at Beckfoot Heaton Primary School and Nursery, Horton Grange Primary School, Samuel Lister Academy and The National Science and Media Museum.

Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the CBI who will be speaking at the launch, said: “Bradford is leading the way in how we educate young people about the exciting world of work. Businesses and schools getting together is something we need to see all over the country, sharing the many opportunities that are available and challenging any misconceptions.

“Inspiring the Future is a fantastic way for every business to make a difference on social mobility and inspire future talent.

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “Inspiring Bradford is a fantastic partnership initiative and a pioneering way of engaging employers and schools to work together to help young people.”

Coun Khan added: “It shows the benefit of our Education Covenant and Bradford Pathways initiative in getting businesses and volunteers involved with schools to help our ambition to raise attainment.”