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25 April 2019

Inspiring Dorset

Inspiring Dorset

Navigating the path to work has never been more complicated and confusing for young people. Should they study at university or college? Is that good value for money? What should they study? Or should they take the apprenticeship route and learn while they earn? There is so much information in the public domain that it is increasingly difficult for young people to assess which advice is the best to take.

Research by Education and Employers charity over the last ten years has shown that regular interactions with employers in primary and secondary schools help young people to understand the importance of what they are learning, support their achievement and increase outcomes for living happy and prosperous lives. Just four employer engagements throughout a student’s time in education and they are 25% less likely to become NEET (Not in education, employment or training). Evidence also shows that young people who had participated in a careers talk with employers could expect, on average, a 1.6% wage premium compared to their peers who did not participate.

Research has also shown the importance of starting early in primary school with these employer interactions. The 2018 ‘Drawing the Future’ study asked 20,000 primary school children from across the globe to draw the job they wanted to do when they grow up. Results showed 45% being influenced by TV, film and radio, with 36% based their careers aspirations on someone they know. Only 1% knew about a job from someone visiting school and this can have real implications for social mobility, as children from poorer backgrounds may not have successful role models from the world of work and their aspirations are limited as a result.

Inspiring Dorset

In all of this, what young people are telling us is that the key to informing their futures is giving them as many chances as possible to hear and learn from people in the world of work.  And this is why Inspiring the Future, Dorset Council, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Dorset Careers and Enterprise Company, and Southern Universities Network have partnered on an exciting and collaborative local campaign.  

Inspiring Dorset is an exciting campaign with big ambitions, to help raise and broaden aspirations for children in Dorset and to excite and motivate young people about the world of work and how what they are learning in school relates to the wider world. The current aim is to recruit more volunteers to visit schools in Dorset to inspire them about their futures. These interactions can enhance social mobility, boost confidence in young people and help equip them with the knowledge they need to be successful when they leave school.  

How to get involved:

The campaign aims to significantly increase the number and range of volunteers available to schools in Dorset, making it easier for those schools to connect with volunteers from the world of work.

Registering interest to be a volunteer could not be easier. The online platform is easy to use and free to both schools and volunteers. Simply use this link to register and volunteer for Inspiring Dorset. Schools will then be able to see your profile and can invite you in to these events or you can search for volunteer opportunities in local schools / colleges on our interactive map once registered.

The official launch for Inspiring Dorset took place across the 3 and 4 April at Holy Trinity Primary School in Weymouth and All Saints, C of E School, Weymouth. The events brought together a range of employers to speak to children and take part in activities.  Photos from the event are available to view HERE.

For more details on the campaign, please email


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