My Future Starts Here was initially created in response to the unprecedented gaps in the guidance and support available to learners caused by the closure of the Connexions service in East Sussex and the ending of the Aimhigher initiative during the summer of 2011. For many young people in the area the loss of these important services had a real and continuing impact.
The gap they left brought the risk of fragmentation, loss of consistency and lack of equal opportunity. The futures of our young people will be influenced and shaped by the choices they make during their time in education. It is our belief that they deserve dedicated and informed professional guidance in the process of making these very important decisions.
During its first year of operation My Future Starts Here established itself as a independent, impartial provider of CEIAG services. The company was commissioned by a number of schools and other organisations in the Hastings and Rother area to deliver those services.
We started to form links with local business and community networks.
My Future Starts Here was the subject of a feature in Careers Guidance Today, a national publication for career guidance professionals. We were consulted and cited in the County CEIAG strategy, and in the production of a report on CEIAG in Hastings and St. Leonards produced through the University of Brighton.
Year 2 saw our client base expand as organisations became aware of what My Future Starts Here could offer them. We successfully tendered for work with a local Partnership Board and with East Sussex County Council. During 2012/13 we worked with a total of twelve schools, colleges and other organisations working with young people.
Our geographical base became wider and the type of services we offered increased in response to requests from new clients. Over the year we enjoyed working with new delivery partners including Culture Shift, MPCT, and DV8.
As the 2013 academic year drew to an end we were delighted to be awarded matrix accreditation after a rigorous assessment. Each year since then our accreditation has been re-confirmed after a matrix Continuous Improvement Check.
Since that time the company has continued to progress and develop in a careers environment which is still evolving.
During 2014 we planned and organised a professional exchange seminar which took place in January 2015. It was attended by representatives from the fields of education, business and local government. Speakers came from each of these fields and included visitors from Dordrecht in the Netherlands. The focus was on the value of sharing good practice and how collaboration can produce highly innovative working.
Later that year we delivered a workshop about the seminar at the Career Development Institute's annual conference in Cardiff.
We regularly review and evaluate the work we do, we and respond to the feedback our clients give us.
In June 2016 our matrix accreditation was renewed for a further three years,
Partnerships remain very important to us. Our links with businesses and voluntary organisations continue to grow and we now have a broad network of contacts locally. Employers and professionals regularly support our careers events, making an invaluable contribution by giving up their time and engaging with young people in schools and colleges.
We value the positive relationships that have developed with our client organisations, and very much appreciate all that our diverse and committed team of associates bring to My Future Starts Here. The journey continues.