The candidates of tomorrow talk to the recruiters of today

Inspiring the Future provides a mechanism for employees to go into schools and talk about their career and industry to inspire young people. The organisation currently has almost 15,000 volunteers from over 3,000 organisations including the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. The initiative has proven to be remarkably successful with over half of England’s secondary schools signed up and receiving cross-party political support.


Led by head teacher Gary Smith and Executive Principal Bev Bell, Basildon Upper Academy is proof that underperforming schools can be turned around with the right resources in place. In May 2012 Basildon Upper Academy was a very different school to the one today that boasts being the areas second highest performing school. In that year the school was deemed inadequate by Ofsted and saw a sizable turnover of staff, some 76 teachers in just two years. Under the leadership of the dedicated school management team the school has invested in programmes such as Inspiring the Future and successfully left special measures recently with a positive rating from Ofsted.

The REC was delighted to participate in an Inspiring the Future event at Basildon Upper Academy along with recruiters Lee Thomas-Wragg and Matthew Bailey from talent2.

Students were surprised to note the wide ranging skills gaps in the UK economy most especially in STEM fields where promising students can hope to achieve competitive earnings as employers jostle for their skillset. We were well positioned to talk to students about the types of positions currently in demand across the wide spectrum of industries in the UK.

The topic of apprenticeships came up frequently throughout the day with a sizeable number of students asking about their availability in a wide range of fields. Many indeed were especially interested in our own Institute of Recruitment Apprenticeship offerings and the breath of activity recruiters are engaged in across all conceivable sectors in the UK.


Lee Thomas-Wragg, Head of HR &Business Support with Talent2 said: “It was great to talk with the students regarding their ambitions and aspiration. I hope that our guidance regarding CV writing and the insights we shared on the current job market was of use, certainly it was well received. We found the politeness of the students impressive and we were delighted with their professionalism and enthusiasm. Matt and I would like to wish the students every success in their future careers and encourage them to aim high!”

For more information on Inspiring the Future go to

By David Geary, Policy Advisor REC 

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