Local social enterprise, 4C UR Future, have secured seed funding from The James Kane Foundation to develop and launch a first-generation Careers Portal to help involve, inform, and inspire young people from Northern Ireland to make more empowered education and career choices.
The Northern Ireland-based not-for-profit Community Interest Company was founded in March 2019 by experienced business leader, Rose Mary Stalker, with Managing Director, Rachel Doherty, appointed in April 2021 to lead the organisation’s ambitious plans.
Collaborating with a diverse range of cross-sectoral businesses, the organisation delivers innovative careers inspiration events for Year 9 students called 4C UR Future LIVE.
“4C UR Future LIVE is not a typical careers event. We engage with Year 9 pupils using work-based games and skills challenges to help young people identify their own strengths and attributes, which are aligned with future of work employability criteria.”
“The range of skills-based games we provide, which are designed and delivered in collaboration with local employers, are intended to provide something for everyone; reflecting the diverse nature of future career options and giving each young person the opportunity to shine.”
Plans are well underway for the organisation to deliver an at-scale pilot of 11 4C UR Future LIVE events in June 2022 as an at-scale pilot, with one event being hosted in each Council area in Northern Ireland.
The seed funding from The James Kane Foundation will support the development of a first-generation 4C UR Future CAREERS PORTAL for 2022, through which each LIVE participant will receive a ‘Personal Feedback Profile’ after the events. In addition, the CAREERS PORTAL will contain a wide range of relevant, relatable, and up to date Careers Content, which is developed in collaboration with industry and employers.
“The 4C UR Future CAREERS PORTAL has the potential to reach and engage every young person in Northern Ireland, providing them with a go-to platform for impartial and up-to-date careers information, and crucially, featuring local companies and local voices.”
“The content available via the portal has the potential to inspire young people, build their confidence, and improve the quality and relevance of their education pathways and career choices. It will also signpost them to resources for further skills and careers support.”
“Our aim is to empower young people; involving them in their own decision-making journeys, informing them of the wide range of opportunities available to them in Northern Ireland, and inspiring them to recognise their own value.”
Announcing the support, The James Kane Foundation Chair, Michael Wilson, said:
“We are delighted to support this initiative. One of the Foundation’s key charitable objectives is to provide funding for work experience, employment, and training opportunities and this fits well within the concept of a Careers Portal for post-primary school children. Having access to a wealth of information online, which is up to date and tailored, will undoubtedly help our young people by enhancing their career development, skills, and competencies. We look forward in anticipation for its launch.”
Charlie Jenkins, Board Member of the Foundation (pictured), also commented:
“I was delighted to be able to represent The James Kane Foundation at the announcement of the seed fund for 4C UR Future. It is fantastic to see the progress being made on such a ground-breaking project.”