Increasing progression to higher level skills, higher education and employment among disadvantaged young people.

The Aspiration strand is jointly led by Cathy Sinclair and Carol Castle.

We must help young people to develop the ability to navigate the challenges everyday life presents them. This is about giving young people the resources to cope, manage and make informed choices in their lives so that they can reach their potential in education and the world of work.

We will do this by supporting every pupil in South Yorkshire to have access to:

  • High quality, accessible and inspirational careers and pathways guidance and access to role models
  • A wide range of accessible education and employment pathways
  • Opportunities to build employability skills and social capital
  • Targeted support for underrepresented groups in Higher Education, with a specific focus on outcomes for looked after children and care leavers
  • A regional pool of dedicated resource including employers, current students, alumni and university staff which help support the sustainability and commitment of these aspirations

The Aspiration work strand includes collaborative activity with a range of partners. Activity is led from Sheffield Hallam University’s wide-ranging and long standing commitment to engagement with schools, colleges and local employers as well as commitment to widening participation to higher level study.

Current projects
The programme has several strands of work, including:

  • The Talent Bank – an overarching term to cover a range of high-quality employer engagement initiatives delivered to schools, colleges and training providers across South Yorkshire aligned to Gatsby Benchmarks 5 and 6. These initiatives include:
    • A School and College Governors scheme launches at Sheffield Hallam University in partnership with Inspiring Governance
    • Role Models – encouraging individuals and organisations to volunteer as role models providing one-off activities such as careers talks or mock interviewing in schools and colleges through partnership with Inspiring the Future
    • Coaching in Schools project – recruiting pools of volunteer coaches from a variety of professional settings to deliver coaching for pupils in Barnsley
  • South Yorkshire Children’s University – delivering a vision for a South Yorkshire Children’s University through Sheffield City Region’s Mayoral Capacity Fund investment
  • Defining a common language and recognised approach to skills development across the region
  • A regional approach to Careers Education Information, Advice and Guidance
  • Embedding engagement and support mechanisms for young people in relation to higher and degree apprenticeships
  • Scoping an enriched offer for Looked After Children and Care Leavers
  • Driving community engagement across collaborative partners as part of Sheffield Business Together – an initiative strategically connecting, sharing and harnessing the resources of business and charities to address some of the key challenges facing the city and our communities.

How to get involved
If you are interested in finding out more about this strand, or want to get involved in some of our projects please visit the Get Involved page or email us: