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Form the Future is helping to prepare young people for the needs of the future


By Gemma Gardner


Cambridge-based social enterprise Form the Future CIC is working with global leaders in education on a programme to understand how best to prepare young people for the needs of the future.

Form the Future Erasmus+ International Conference – 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Need event at Hills Road Sixth Form College, from left Simon Humphrey from Arm, Michaela Eschbach, and Mircea Siclovan from Romania, Charlotte Agerby Schultz from Denmark, and Frode Kvittem from Norway. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8170330)
Form the Future Erasmus+ International Conference – 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Need event at Hills Road Sixth Form College, from left Simon Humphrey from Arm, Michaela Eschbach, and Mircea Siclovan from Romania, Charlotte Agerby Schultz from Denmark, and Frode Kvittem from Norway. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8170330)

The two-year programme funded by the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport, Erasmus+ kicked off with a five-day conference in the city.

The conference brought together education professionals and teachers from across the UK with their peers from Norway, Denmark and Romania.

The event was organised by Form the Future and aimed to raise awareness of the importance of 21st century skills, and guidance on how to integrate these skills into teaching and curriculum on an international scale.

Michaela Eschbach, co-founder and director at Form the Future, said: “This programme fits perfectly with Form the Future’s mission to bring schools and businesses together to help students develop the necessary skills and experience needed to prepare them for their futures. We are excited to be playing a critical role in facilitating knowledge sharing across nations.”

Participants will work together to pool expertise, data and resources, and to establish best practice based on real learnings.

The conference also provided extensive learning opportunities for the delegates across seminars, workshops and networking sessions on March 25 to 29.

Form the Future delivered a workshop in partnership with Junior Achievement Mid-Norway to inform the delegates about how schools can better engage employers to ensure their students develop the types of skills that businesses are actually looking for.

Form the Future Erasmus+ International Conference – 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Need event at Hills Road Sixth Form College. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8170489)
Form the Future Erasmus+ International Conference – 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Need event at Hills Road Sixth Form College. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8170489)

The delegates had the opportunity to meet and learn from some of our volunteers from a range of businesses including Arm, Cambridge University Press and Turners Soham Ltd.

Participants and partner employers will now be involved in the development of a toolkit to support the integration of 21st century skills teaching into the curriculum within each region.

Simon Humphrey, senior sustainability manager at Arm, said: “The conference had a real energy and was buzzing with the spirit of collaboration between teachers, across national boundaries and with employers.

“This was great to see, and be a part of, because at Arm we recognise that effective careers awareness for young people can only happen where there is collaboration in a non-competitive environment across all parties.

Form the Future Erasmus+ International Conference – 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Need event at Hills Road Sixth Form College. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8170427)
Form the Future Erasmus+ International Conference – 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Need event at Hills Road Sixth Form College. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8170427)

“Form the Future play a critical role in career guidance in our region, brokering the relationships between young people, the schools and employers of all sizes, that allow for the effective sharing of careers information, insights and the incredible opportunities that exist across Cambridgeshire.”

Frank Norbeck, CEO of Junior Achievement Mid-Norway, said: “We really hope that delegates will benefit from taking learnings from this conference back to their four different countries.

“We also hope that this conference will stimulate powerful reflections amongst teachers around what skills are truly relevant and important for the future, especially given businesses’ increasing demand for soft skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication.”



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