Do you want to inspire a generation? Volunteer an hour a year and help young people be our bright future. 

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Inspiring the Future Australia, connects schools and youth services with employers and people from the world of work. Volunteers from Apprentices to CEOs, Archaeologists to Zoologists pledge just one hour a year to volunteer in a school or college near where they live or work in order to talk to young people about their job and career journey.

It was first conceived and developed in the UK following extensive research and consultation with a range of stakeholders – employers, education, government, third sector and intermediaries. SIP, has recently been licensed by the UK based Education Employer Taskforce to run their Inspiring the Future program across Australia based on its success in the UK.

Teachers and volunteers register online and can liaise directly with each  other through a secure website. Teachers select volunteers from a range of sectors and professions who best meet the needs of their students. At the heart, it is volunteers talking informally about their job, career journey and their educational route. In addition, volunteers can select a number of areas of expertise that might be of interest to students – e.g. apprenticeships, enterprise, mathematics, financial literacy, languages, engineering and technology etc.

Inspiring the Future Australia will initially include a number of activities that volunteers can register for as offers so that teachers can then search for suitable volunteers to invite to their school. As in the UK, these follow the same format of a one hour a year commitment and include: 

Career insight talks and events – speaking to groups of young people about your career journey and education pathway, and what work you do now, and providing information on skill requirements and possible education pathways that lead to future employment in your industry. This could be done by offering students short careers talks including a Q&A session, presenting at a career fair, or participating in events such as Speed Career Networking and ‘What’s my Line” or being involved in an ‘Inspiring Women’ activity.

Curriculum Link – volunteer consultations with teachers who seek to enrich school curriculum by offering their input to students so they can develop an appreciation of how their academic and vocational school subjects and learning activities are relevant to and are being applied in career, workplace and industry.

Help with resumes and/or Realistic Mock Interviewsgiving young people feedback and advice on their resumes helping young people practice their communication skills in realistic mock interview scenarios for jobs, Apprenticeships, Higher Education entry etc.

Exchanging Expectationsenabling the voices of employers and young people to be shared and heard through authentic career conversations. In practical terms, this means a pair or small group of young people sitting down with the volunteer and discussing what they both hope for and expect from each other. Young people and employers learning together, will help young workers (including students on placement) and their supervisors to be both more fulfilled and productive in their work.

Reading or Numeracy – reading to children or listening to them read in a primary school, either individually or in groups. This could be a one-off activity or it may evolve into more regular involvement depending on the needs of the school and availability of the volunteer. This also involves taking part in a numeracy related activity with a group of primary school children.