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Positive Footprints secures Government funding to boost career education in Wyre

In a significant boost to career education for local pupils, Positive Footprints has secured a £67,000 grant from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, in partnership with Wyre Borough Council. The funding will enable 20 primary schools across Wyre to participate in Positive Footprints’ award-winning programmes, designed to broaden aspirations and equip children with the skills they need for the future.

Positive Footprints is an innovative education service provider focused on career-based learning. Through partnerships with local organisations and schools, Positive Footprints provides programmes designed to open the world of work for children and young people. They provide schools with a unique educational initiative that brings award-winning authors, renowned space scientists, elite athletes, and climate change professionals into classrooms. Through live-streamed Career Conversations and dynamic in school Career Carousel events, students have the rare opportunity to interact with professionals from various fields, exploring hidden careers and discovering the multiple pathways available to them. Their programmes provide supporting materials for schools which structure skills building in pupils’ self-belief, resilience, and ability to recognise their own qualities to better how they could be useful in the workplace.

During a Career Carousel launch event at Manor Beach Primary School, Sara Ordonez, Wyre Council’s Shared Prosperity Fund Manager, greeted pupils in attendance, “I’m not going to ask you what you want to be in the future, because you may not know, but you will know what makes you happy right now, and that’s really important for your future. We’re investing in 37 projects across Wyre, and this project is particularly special because it’s giving you the chance to think about your futures and what makes sense to you now, and what you want to do to change the world.

A Year 6 pupil from Manor Beach Primary School shared their insight, “I’ve learnt that anyone can be anything in a job, it doesn’t matter what age or what height or if you’re a girl or boy, and jobs can be really fun!” This sentiment echoes the core purpose of Positive Footprints, to make career education engaging and accessible to all children.

The initiative will roll out across 20 primary schools, specifically chosen based on rurality and levels of need, offering access to Positive Footprints’ programmes at a subsidised rate.

The project will focus on Year 5 and Year 6 students, engaging them in an interactive learning experience that aims to inspire 1,600 children and young people. With 480 hours of careers-led learning on the agenda, the project is expected to generate £284,160 in social value, quantifying its broader benefits to society, individuals, and communities.

Lesley Burrows, Managing Director of Positive Footprints, said: “Our vision at Positive Footprints is to shape brighter futures for children and young people, unveil the vast world of work, and prepare the upcoming generation with the essential skills for future success. We are thrilled to collaborate with Wyre Borough Council and grateful for the UK Government’s support through the Shared Prosperity Fund. This partnership will significantly enhance our ability to deliver our award-winning programmes to the children who need them the most.

Sharing the same passion for the importance of early career education, a parent attending the launch event at Manor Beach Primary remarked, “There’s a whole wide world of work out there that children can have access to, and I think at this primary level, it’s really important for them to get that base understanding so they know what skills they might need to do their future career, they know what qualities people are looking for, but also, they know what types of roles are out there. It’s not limiting them; it’s giving them that very early choice so they can see that there’s a lot they can actually aspire to as they’re growing up.

The targeted beneficiaries of this project include:

  • 1,600 Children and Young People in Wyre: Participating in the programme, each child will engage in approximately 12 hours of learning and interact with 5-8 different employers, gaining insights into the professional world.
  • 20 Teachers in Wyre Primary Schools: Supported in delivering aspirational learning opportunities, enhancing job satisfaction and educational outcomes over two years.
  • 60 Local Businesses: Given the chance to partake in physical and digital events, contributing to their social value and corporate responsibility efforts.

Councillor Peter Le Marinel, Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy and Economic Development at Wyre Council adds, “It is so important to engage with children about their aspirations and we’re thrilled to support the Positive Footprints project through our allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This project will enable plenty of inspiring opportunities for the young people of Wyre to think about themselves and their future positively, not only benefiting themselves but also the community.

This collaborative effort between Positive Footprints, Wyre Borough Council, and the UK Government demonstrates a shared commitment to enriching educational opportunities and fostering a brighter future for the children of Wyre. Through this project, Positive Footprints aims to not only raise aspirations but also to equip the next generation with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in an ever-changing world.

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