A new government-backed scheme has been launched that aims to help provide state school pupils with the same opportunities as those at independent schools to meet employers and gain vital careers advice.

If successful, the ‘Inspiring the Future’ initiative could help boost diversity in the workplace by promoting greater inclusion of state school pupils within a number of different career paths.

It will see employees from all sectors and professions volunteering to go into state secondary schools and colleges to talk about their jobs, careers, and the education routes they took.

Speaking at the launch of the scheme at a school in Tower Hamlets on Monday (July 2nd), deputy prime minister Nick Clegg commented: “Too many young people get the message that the best jobs are not for them.

“Inspiring the Future will give state school students the chance to see, hear and make a connection with someone in a career or job they might not have thought about.

“The power of making connections that inspire young people is immeasurable and can be life-changing – the difference between going on to fulfil your potential, and languishing on the scrapheap.”

To coincide with the launch of Inspiring the Future, a new report has been published looking at how top independent schools provide their students with access to employers and careers advice and how the state sector can learn from this.

The report found that 100 per cent of the highest performing independent schools have programmes that bring employers and eminent speakers to talk to their pupils, while young adults (aged 19-24) who previously attended independent schools are 30 per cent more likely to have had careers talks from employers than peers who attended non-selective state schools.

This could be giving those from independent schools a considerable advantage when it comes to career prospects, with young adults who have established four or more employer contacts five times less likely to be NEET (controlling for highest level of qualification) than those who had no involvement with employers, according to research released earlier this year.