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£850k funding boost extends Lancashire student careers programme

A student careers service which has offered advice to more than 25,000 young people across Lancashire has been extended after securing funding for an additional year.

Future U has been awarded £850,000 of funding from the Office for Students to continue its careers support for an extra 12 months.

Future U works across Lancashire to increase career and higher education aspirations for young people and encourage teenagers to think about studying at university and their career aspirations.

The funding will allow the programme to continue to host events at schools and colleges across the county so that young people can explore careers that are of interest, as well as speak with leading employers and finding out about opportunities after leaving school such as university courses and degree apprenticeships.

It also supports families and young people from areas in Lancashire which are currently underrepresented in higher education.

The funding will also allow the programme to provide additional support to adult learners, children in care, young carers and students from military families.

Since the start of the project in 2017, Future U has delivered over 1,100 careers activities across 70 schools and colleges in the area, in addition to creating a range of resources available to download from its new website.

Theo Blackburn, Future U Programme Manager, said: “We are very excited to build upon the successes of previous phases as we continue to support those that need this support now more than ever across Lancashire.

“The inclusion of adult learners for this year is a welcome addition and opens up exciting opportunities, while our new website will play an important role as a one stop shop in supporting schools, colleges and other organisations to find crucial information as well as details on events and activities, all aiming to support progression to Level 4 study.”

Future U is part of the national Uni Connect Programme, funded by the Office for Students, and involves institutions and organisations across the county including University of Central Lancashire, Lancaster University, Edge Hill University and the University of Cumbria. Its list of partners include: Blackburn College, Blackpool Sixth Form College, Blackpool and the Fylde College, Burnley College, Edge Hill University, Inspira, Kendal College, Lancaster University, Myerscough College, Nelson and Colne College, Preston’s College, STEMFirst, Runshaw College, The Lancashire Colleges, University of Central Lancashire, University of Cumbria, West Lancashire College.

Lancashire’s Future U works with a network of schools, in addition to colleges, higher education providers and local agencies to create tailored activities to meet the needs of students for now and the future.