TOP figures from local businesses and public bodies will be visiting Bradford schools over the next week to inspire pupils to aim high in their future careers.

Inspiring Bradford is a new scheme that started yesterday, and over the coming days will see over 40 people from employers like the Science Museum Group, Bradford Council, the Department for Education, and people representing careers from zoology to archaeology, visiting primary and secondary schools to talk to children about their careers and how they got there.

If successful, the pioneering scheme could go on to be used in other parts of the country.

Each day will have a different theme, including diversity, women in science, the arts, higher education and apprentices.

The scheme kicked off yesterday at Beckfoot Heaton Primary School and gave pupils the chance to speak to Bradford Council Chief Executive Kersten England, firefighter Adi Gill, and Damon Boxer, who works for the Department for Education as Head of Delivery for the Bradford Opportunity Area.

During a morning event, volunteers took part in a ‘What’s my line’ session, where children tried and work out their jobs, helping to challenge stereotypes young children often have based on gender and ethnicity.

The initiative has been developed by a range of partners working closely with both primary and secondary schools across the district. These include Bradford Council, the University of Bradford, the National Science and Media Museum, the National Association of Head Teachers and the charity Education and Employers which runs Inspiring the Future.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said: “Bradford is leading the way in how we educate young people about the exciting world of work. Businesses and schools getting together is something we need to see all over the country, sharing the many opportunities that are available and challenging any misconceptions.

“Inspiring the Future is a fantastic way for every business to make a difference on social mobility and inspire future talent. Starting early matters and we know children are already making decisions about what they want to do at the age of eight.”

It is hoped that by the end the week, the number of volunteers available to schools in Bradford to chat to students, provide feedback on a CV, or give a mock interview will rise to over 500.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said: “Every young person, regardless of where they live, should have the support they need to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them. The ‘Inspiring Bradford’ programme is a great example of the partnerships being set up in our 12 Opportunity Areas – of which Bradford is one – to drive social mobility and raise the aspirations of young people.

“Projects like this play a key role in broadening young people’s ambitions and providing positive role models to tackle the stereotypes around gender and ethnicity that can act as barriers to achieving their potential. I am delighted to support this work and look forward to hearing more of its success.”

Councillor Imran Khan, Council’s portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “It is a fantastic partnership initiative and a pioneering way of engaging employers and schools to work together to help young people.”