CFL Report

The story so far, background and context

Over the last decade the Centre for Leadership Performance (CfLP) has worked closely with employers, educators and young people to understand their leadership development needs and develop a collaborative approach that responds to those needs.

The Dream Placement Alumni is a growing group of more than 1,000 young people who have applied for and participated in the Dream Placement scheme; this group represents a significant cross-section of young Cumbrian talent.

These alumni and their peers will make a key contribution to the future of Cumbria’s community and economy and it is important to harness their input, potential and talent through Cumbria Future Leaders (CFL).

Excellent work with young people is undoubtedly already taking place within Cumbria but its impact is limited because it is often un-coordinated, unknown or fails to align with the needs of young people. CFL has the potential to work collaboratively to broker opportunities and connections between young people, employers and their communities, and co-ordinate with existing activity in order to fully harness their energy, their intelligence, their enthusiasm and their commitment.  

We have brought together key stakeholders to share thinking, brain-storm ideas, identify issues and develop the scope and context for Cumbria’s Future Leaders with the aim of setting up a steering group to drive this initiative.

A series of workshops focus groups and events have provided the Centre with the opportunity to collect meaningful data. This report outlines key themes from that data and looks at how they can be explored further.

Why do we need Cumbria Future Leaders? The purpose of CFL

  1. An aligned and shared vision – engaging with young people to understand, shape and share the future vision for Cumbria.
  2. Increased connection and co-ordination – CFL will connect with other work happening in the county and nationally including the activities of Career Hubs, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, the Careers & Enterprise Company, BECBC and Inspira, Hello Futures, CONE, and HOLLR. The consensus is that comprehensive mapping of current provision is essential, to better understand where CFL fits.
  3. Improved leadership capability – CFL will encourage and enable continuing personal development that encourages and recognises leadership on all levels. It can be a vehicle to promote a wider variety of opportunities and support the development of transferable skills in different industry areas. It will help to create a support network, shaped by those who will use it and in doing so will foster their confidence to actually get involved in opportunities, raising aspirations and empowering young people.

How will it be managed? The Proposed Structure

  1. A steering group with diverse membership – Young people must raise the issues that matter to them, the steering group will help young people to voice their needs and help them develop knowledge, experience and networks to do that in the longer term. Appropriate support is needed to develop the leadership role of young people and the steering group should reflect a range of academic ability.
  2. The steering group will need to be empowered -There is a genuine concern that groups such as CFL can become tokenistic as issues are raised but not moved forward so the steering group will need to take ownership for the direction and impact of the CFL.
  3. How do you reflect the range of potential involvement without making it unmanageable? Ultimately sub groups, e.g. Education & Engagement may help to signpost young people to the issues and services they are specifically interested in, because the opportunities aren’t always reaching the county’s young people who say they feel they are not being told what is available.

Who will it involve? A network of contacts on different levels

  1. Young people and industry:
  • Sharing of information, opportunities and provide a platform for quality conversations and meaningful encounters.
  • Companies benefiting from access to a whole network of young people.
  • ‘Matching service’ or brokerage of opportunities – because information sharing via Educational establishments doesn’t always work.
  • Notice board for company information.
  • ‘My Story’ case studies – showing the variety of journeys and pathways
  1. Young people across the age range 16 – 24:
  • Positive role models who can give advice and feedback regarding their own experiences. Mentor training – young leadership ambassadors.
  • Networking between relatable young people.
  • Supporting one another to achieve success and accelerate careers.
  1. Young people and their communities – connection with and investment in their local communities.

Campaign – to promote all career pathways – representing a wider range of aspirations

Question – Can young people make use of the opportunities available to them – if not why not?

Mixed response – from young people regarding how much they currently interact and network with companies, young professionals and young people generally.

When and where will young people access CFLP? Platforms for connections

  • Virtual, social media, online
  • Physical issues such as the size of the county and poor public transport are cited as barriers to face-to-face engagement. So, let’s focus on the solutions.
  • Lack of knowledge is not always a result of a lack of information; it can result from a lack of appropriate means to communicate or access this knowledge effectively.
  • So, the consensus is that an online portal/website of some description would be the key mechanism and hub of information for the forum.
  • Events
  • Positive feedback from the recent Agent’s for Change event – let’s do more!
  • Face-to-face networking is still important and a key skill to develop.
  • CFL will involve group meetings and seminars that focus on skills development

 

  • Opportunities to share best practice and recognition of skills on a variety of levels.

 

Next Steps: Our recommendations

Based on the key messages from the research, the Centre for Leadership Performance proposes some recommendations for the steering group to consider.

  1. Formation of the steering group of no more than 20 members which represents a range a range of stakeholders. Members would represent organisations or particular groups of people rather than as an individual.
  2. Create terms of reference to agree the purpose and scope of the group
  1. Review the new CFL website
  2. Organise a launch event to invite other stakeholders and potential sponsors.

 

Here is an outline of the proposed operation based on the key themes and linked to different funding scenarios. The initial service in the centre is the simplest and can grow depending on the money secured to run CFL.

  1. Formation of the steering group of no more than 20 members which represents a range a range of stakeholders. Members would represent organisations or particular groups of people rather than as an individual.
  2. Create terms of reference to agree the purpose and scope of the group
  1. Review the new CFL website
  2. Organise a launch event to invite other stakeholders and potential sponsors.

 

Here is an outline of the proposed operation based on the key themes and linked to different funding scenarios. The initial service in the centre is the simplest and can grow depending on the money secured to run CFL.