Our Future Derby

This exciting new initiative aims to connect primary schoolchildren across Derby with local employers, to help introduce them to the world of work.

It is funded through the Department for Education’s Opportunity Area Programme. 

It aims to inspire children and connect primary schools across the Derby Opportunity Area (which includes Abbey, Arboretum, Boulton, Chaddesden, Derwent, Normanton and Sinfin) with local businesses.

The Chamber is delivering the project on behalf of Derby City Council, with its partners Learn by Design, Forum Talent Potential and DMH Associates.

Working alongside the charity Education and Employers, we aim to ensure that children in primary schools receive an inspiring programme of activity until summer 2020.

We are calling on member businesses in Derby to lend their support to the project by volunteering to engage with primary schools and help raise their pupils’ aspirations.

What the programme is aiming to achieve

Our Future Derby is aimed at encouraging businesses to play a leading role in inspiring the next generation of young talent.

It is hoped that engaging local employers will help to:

  • Open children’s eyes to their future career possibilities
  • Develop pupils’ employability skills
  • Encourage parents to raise their children’s aspirations
  • Support teachers in linking classroom learning with the needs of the local labour market

In addition, the project will spark conversations at a range of events across the city to help broaden horizons, raise aspirations, and open up a world of greater opportunities to the children, their families, and their teachers.

Research conducted by Education and Employers, in 2018, found that children as young as six had already decided what careers they could or could not do in the future. 

In the main, this was influenced by who they know and what they see on TV, with only one per cent having been inspired by someone visiting their school.


Pieter Eksteen, the Chamber’s Education and Business Partnerships Manager, said:

“Our Future Derby is an innovative programme which aims to inspire children and help them see the link between their education and the world of work from an early age.

“It’s all about bringing children, parents, schools, teachers and employers together to plant the seeds of hope and raise pupils’ aspirations for their futures.

“Research shows children’s aspirations are often shaped, moulded, and restricted by gender stereotyping, socio-economic background and the people they meet in their local area.

“We believe that collaboration between schools, families and businesses will help children to gain a better understanding of world of work, the opportunities that are out there and how they can make the most of them.”


How can I get involved?

By becoming an Inspiring The Future volunteer, you can help inspire young people to think about what is possible in their futures.

Whether you’re a CEO or an apprentice, you’ll be amazed at how inspiring your story can be.

Giving schoolchildren the opportunity to meet and engage with a wide range of people doing different jobs is really important, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds who have few positive role models, either at home or in their local communities.

Your commitment can be as much, or as little, as you can offer, from giving up just one hour a year to share your career journey with young people in a school, to becoming a school governor.

By using our online matchmaking platform, you can search for volunteer opportunities in your local schools or respond to schools invitations,  and say how you would like to get involved.

So, sign up today and start inspiring children in your community by showing them a future they can aspire to.

Want to hear what our volunteers are saying... 

Hundreds of individuals and businesses have already signed up to be involved in the Our Future Derby opportunity with the aim of giving something back to society, especially children. 

If you are unsure whether this is for you, we strongly recommend you read the following case studies - as as we are confident that they will impress you - and encourage you to sign up immediately. 

  • Read about the experience of Claire Storey - a freelance linguist - download the case study here.
  • Find out how Laura Howard, the Chamber's Head of International Trade got involved with one of the primary schools in the project - download the case study here.
  • Efficiency East Midlands are very commited to social responsibility which is embedded in all that they do.  Read here from their Chief Executive, Pete Smith - download case study here
  • Hear from local Derby based Personal Safety Trainers - and how Keely Flavill has benefited from her involvement with one the schools in Allenton - download case study here.