A national initiative is expanding to give secondary school pupils in the Bradford district first-hand inspiration about jobs and careers they might want to follow.

Inspiring the Future is a free service in which people from all sectors and professions volunteer to go into state secondary schools and colleges to talk about their jobs, careers, apprenticeships and the education routes they took.

Everyone from chief executives to apprentices can volunteer for Inspiring the Future, which celebrated its first anniversary last month.

Nearly 5,000 volunteers are already signed up, but more are needed and Yorkshire is one of the first regions to benefit from the scheme’s expansion.

Claire Burns, group human resources manager at Bradford-based SIL Holdings Ltd, the parent company of a group of textile firms throughout West Yorkshire, has volunteered for Inspiring the Future.

She said: “Young people have various ideas how an industry or business works and how they may work within a sector. Inspiring the Future can help them understand how they can contribute to the success of an organisation and how their skills gained in education can transfer to the workplace.

“As human resources manager for a group of textile companies, I am keen to share my experiences of both the manufacturing and skills involved in producing cloth as well as an insight into the world of HR.”

Almost 2,000 secondary schools are registered with Inspiring the Future. They include Dixons City Academy, Bradford, where David Connolly is head of business education.

He said: “I’ve been able to connect with people from all sorts of backgrounds and organisations, all of whom have been only too willing to come into school and offer my students interesting insights into their chosen careers – everything from television producers and solicitors to bankers and tax collectors.

“As resources go, this has to be one of the most valuable I've used in 20 years of teaching.”

Volunteers can sign up and schools can register at inspiringthefuture.org.