Students are able to access careers information on the MyFuture platform both in and outside school.

Following a hugely successful lockdown launch, the innovative employability and careers platform MyFuture, is here to stay for another year.

Developed by Chesterfield Borough Council, in partnership with Destination Chesterfield and the D2N2 LEP the My Future platform was dreamt up during lockdown when Year 11 and 13 young people were unable to access face-to-face careers information.

The platform, however, has been so successful, with thousands of young people in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire using it to find careers advice and apprenticeships, that funding has been extended for a further 12 months to help bridge the gap ahead of large scale in-person careers events returning.

Derbyshire County Council is also supporting the relaunch of the MyFuture platform.

Over the last 12 months, more than 4,000 young people, teachers and parents have accessed the platform.

The funding has enabled a refresh of the MyFuture platform by Chesterfield-based creator and designer Oasis Studio. New features within the virtual careers fair include improved search functionality, easier navigation within the exhibition hall, TV screens within the pods which play live videos and immersive sound allowing the user to feel like they are actually attending a live careers fair.

New pods have also been added to MyFuture, including The Tickled Trout, Acorn Training, Edwards Employment Solutions, Superior Wellness, Staveley Town Deal and NLT Training Services. With around 100 pods on the platform, including one featuring The National Careers Service, MyFuture offers young people in the area unparalleled access to careers information.

The pods are set across 11 zones in the virtual careers fair, providing a wealth of information about different sectors, industries, individual businesses, apprentice positions and further education options available across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Praising the platform Nick Melton, Senior Assistant Headteacher – Curriculum at Tupton Hall School, said: MyFuture is a great platform to enhance the delivery of careers information to our students both in and out of school. It allows them to explore career options in their own time. The fact it features local businesses and training and employment opportunities available within them is a real bonus. It demonstrates to students that there is a myriad of opportunities available on their doorstep post 16.”

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield explained: “MyFuture has been immensely popular since its launch. We were all very keen for it to continue beyond lockdown being lifted and I am delighted that the partners were able to provide funding to enable this. Together we are helping create a strong, skilled workforce which will support the continued inward investment in the town as well as ensure young people gain the best advice and support for their future career development in these challenging times.”

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, deputy leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “We originally launched MyFuture with our partners to ensure there was good quality careers advice available during the pandemic and we have seen fantastic levels of engagement. It’s proved to be such a successful support tool that we are keeping it in place and making it even better than before. There are new organisations featured on the platform and new features which mean it is more interactive and engaging. I’d encourage any young person thinking about their next steps to take a look at MyFuture for local opportunities and inspiration.”

Will Morlidge, Interim Chief Executive at D2N2 said: “Using innovative technology like MyFuture helps to raise aspirations for young people by bringing to life the opportunities available to them. It’s great to see this resource continuing and developing as bringing together the worlds of work and education is a vital part of our strategy to lead our region’s recovery from the impact of Covid-19.”

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Councillor Alex Dale added: “We are delighted to support the relaunch of MyFuture. The website is a great place for young people to explore different career opportunities, get advice and search for local opportunities including apprenticeships and further education courses.”

Young people, teachers and parents who now want to learn about the many opportunities available to future school leavers, can visit MyFuture via the Destination Chesterfield website.