Nick Clegg launches 'army of aspiration'

 

Nick Clegg today hailed an initiative to send employees into state schools to talk about their careers as the launch of an "army for aspiration".

The Deputy Prime Minister said he hoped the Inspiring the Future scheme would allow schoolchildren to "open their minds" about the types of jobs they could pursue.

More than 100,000 voluntary speakers who can inspire youngsters are set to be signed up by the Education and Employers Taskforce.

The scheme is meant to give state school pupils access to the kind of careers advice and first-hand accounts that many private schools offer.

Research by the taskforce suggests 80% of independent schools regularly have external speakers to talk to pupils about career options.

Mr Clegg, who attended the prestigious Westminster School, said: "A lot of this is taken for granted for people, like myself, who were lucky enough to go to fee paying schools. What we are saying is that should be available to all schoolchildren whatever school they go to across the country."

Addressing pupils at the Bishop Challoner School in east London, Mr Clegg said had been inspired to take an interest in current affairs because his history teacher had "terrified" him into believing World War Three would "happen in weeks".

Actress Joanna Lumley, who appeared on stage with Mr Clegg, joked that she had wanted to be Prime Minister, but insisted the Lib Dem leader did "not need to worry".

Giving the children advice on achieving their dreams, she added: "Say yes, be on time, be gorgeous - as you all are - show willing, be savagely polite and go for it."

The scheme is strongly supported by the Deputy Prime Minister, who is driving efforts within the coalition Government to improve social mobility and ensure poorer youngsters are not hindered in life because of their background.

Other figures supporting the scheme include Apprentice star and entrepreneur Karren Brady, actress Joanna Lumley and the head chef of The Ivy restaurant, Gary Lee.

Mr Clegg added: "Too many young people get the message that the best jobs are not for them.

"Inspiring the Future will give state school students the chance to see, hear and make a connection with someone in a career or job they might not have thought about.

"Today we're calling on doctors, nurses, lawyers, builders, business people, civil servants, farmers, mechanics, engineers and other working people to give up just an hour of their time to talk to students in their local state school about how they got where they are today.

"The power of making connections that inspire young people is immeasurable and can be life-changing.

"Many successful people can point to a moment in their lives when they were inspired to become the people they are today. Now, it's their turn to help young people fulfil their potential."

Sir Roger Carr, president of employers' organisation the CBI, said: "There is nothing more compelling for young people thinking about their future careers than meeting and speaking to inspirational people who do the jobs they are considering. That is why the CBI is pleased to support Inspiring the Future.

"We desperately need to tackle the corrosive effects of high youth unemployment in the UK, so I would urge employers to sign up to this initiative and encourage their staff to get involved and provide valuable insights into their careers."

Brian Lightman, president of the Association of School and College Leaders which represents 17,000 school leaders, said: "The world of work offers a bewildering range of opportunities for young people.

"It is immensely important that they have the chance to gain insights early on about different jobs and careers, especially when they cover areas outside their immediate experience."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project