Since September 2017, Hello Future has been working in schools and colleges to support learners with their next steps and exploring the different opportunities available to them through higher education.
During this time, we have had the pleasure of working with a number of teachers & advisers.
We sat down with some of them to find out how the Hello Future programme has supported their work.
From the activities your learners have taken part in, which do you feel have been the most useful/beneficial to your school/college curriculum?
I feel the most useful sessions have been the workshops based around further and higher education, as for many of our students it has made them consider an alternative to accessing apprenticeships, as this has been a traditional route for the majority of students attending the UTC.
In the future, this is an area that we need to develop in terms of links with universities in particular, as the majority of our current focus is towards employer partners.
Has taking part in those opportunities impacted learner decision-making about their future?
Yes- In my own year group, it has definitely led to a higher number of students looking to stay on into 6th form than in previous years, with many students interested in keeping a wider range of options available for their future, other than just looking at a direct route to employment.
Has being involved in the Hello Future programme had any wider impact on your school or college?
Yes- In general, by having Hello Futures assemblies, mentoring and workshops, it has led to a wider discussion between students about what they want to do next, possibly raising ambitions in some students or just opening the door to new ideas.
Do you feel it’s important to have programmes like Hello Future working in Cumbria?
Yes- Cumbria is unique in terms of its employment history and the limited number of options available for employment in the future, this certainly lowers aspirations in the area, which is not helped by limited facilities and resources across the region. So any scheme that offers students insights into alternative careers or education and in turn raises aspirations is vitally important.
What do you consider to be the main attributes that would make Cumbrian learners successful at HE/Degree Apprenticeships?
Cumbrian learners are highly resourceful and resilient in there day to day lives, due to a lack of resources in the local area, this would make them ideal candidates for HE/Degree Apprenticeships where there is a need to be able to think independently and show initiative.
What do you consider to be the main barriers for Cumbrian learners to progress to HE/Degree Apprenticeships?
As explained in previous questions, one of the largest barriers are students own aspirations, as well an unwillingness to leave the area to seek employment or education.
What advice would you give to young people thinking about continuing to higher education/training?
Don’t listen to wait your peers are saying, go out and find out what it is really like for yourself, visit colleges and universities, go to open days, form your own opinion. Most importantly, don’t sell yourself too cheaply, by being tempted by the money of an lower level apprenticeship, just because your friend is getting paid and loves the money, you have your whole life ahead of your to earn money, make sure it is by doing something you really want to do.
Please use this space to add additional commentary about the relationship between your school/college and the Hello Future programme so we can best demonstrate the usefulness of the programme to our Cumbrian community.
The biggest asset is Hello Futures ability to be flexible, they do not offer a one size fits all package, it is tailored to the needs of the school and most importantly the needs of the students.