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Following the success of the pilot project ‘Our Future Derby’, the re-branded ‘Our Future’ project is now being extended to primary schools across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. The project offers a wonderful opportunity to celebrate what schools and employers are doing together to make a real difference to children’s lives. It aims to inspire pupils and challenge the way they think about the world of work.

Through a series of interactive and engaging career-related learning activities, the project is broadening horizons, breaking down stereotypes, and supporting primary schools during a challenging time to motivate children and help them see the relevance of their learning.

‘Our Future’ is funded by the Department for Education Opportunity Area and delivered by Education and Employers, Learn by Design and dmh Associates. Primary schools involved in the project will have the opportunity to access hundreds of business volunteers from a range of sectors using the Primary Futures programme and due to overwhelming demand the project is seeking volunteers from all walks of life to sign up and get involved.

The project includes the delivery of career-related learning activities, school and Multi Academy Trust (MAT) support and training, partnerships and twinning to knowledge share with other schools, access to resources and materials plus tools to broker parental and family engagement.

If you are a primary school that wants to find out more or a parent/carer that would like to join our Family Focus Groups, please email laurencroll@bydesign-group.co.uk

New Research Findings

Latest research from the Our Future Derby project shows a vitally positive impact on children’s motivation and aspirations at a time when children faced unprecedented challenges in their education.

From January to July 2021, the project engaged over 7,500 children and teachers in a range of career-related activities with local role models across backgrounds and sectors. During a period when children needed motivation more than ever following disruption to their education, the project played an essential role in widening pupils’ world views and showing them the vast range of opportunities they could aspire to.


Key findings from this period show that after taking part in activities:

  • 75% of pupils in receipt of Free School Meals or eligible for Pupil Premium agreed with the statement ‘I can do any job I want when I grow up’ – an increase from 66% before taking part.

  • 78% of pupils agreed that ‘Doing well at school will help me get a better job when I grow up’.

  • 86% of pupils agreed that ‘Girls and boys can do the same job’

  • Children could identify 24 different jobs, compared to 18 jobs before taking part.

  • Children’s self- assessment of their skills showed an increase across 7 out of 8 key skills including problem-solving, teamwork and creativity

Increased children's motivation
Increased children's motivation

An increase from 74% to 78% from those agreeing that Doing well at school will help me get a better job when I grow up'

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Broadened horizons and increased awareness of the world of work
Broadened horizons and increased awareness of the world of work

The jobs identified by children post-activity increased to 24 different jobs compared to 18 jobs in the pre-activity responses.

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Engaged at least 7,500 children and teachers
Engaged at least 7,500 children and teachers

Through a range of inspirational career-related learning (CRL) activities involving career volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds and industry sectors.

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Can you volunteer to be a career role model in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area?


We are looking for a diversity of voices so that the young people can see and hear themselves in the volunteers they speak to. We know that young people need inspiration now more than ever and we also know that the local voice is really powerful. By sharing your career story, you can open the children’s eyes to a world they might never have imagined for themselves. 

Activities can be virtual or face to face and can involve one hour or one day – the choice is yours depending on how much time you wish to commit. Whatever your seniority level, job role or experience, you will be surprised what an impact sharing your story will make.

Get involved

Funding and Partners:

The Our Future project is commissioned and funded by the Opportunity Area Board and delivered by Education and Employers, Learn by Design and dmh Associates.

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Breaking down stereotypes and opening children's eyes to their future possibilities.

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