Nottingham MP Alex Norris visits law firm with ThinkForward students

Nottingham North MP Alex Norris teamed up with constituents from Ellis Guilford School as they visited one of Nottingham’s biggest family law firms Fraser Brown.

The aim of visit was for students to learn more about careers in the legal profession, find out what they need to be studying at school and what their career path could look like if they are interested in becoming a solicitor.

All the students are part of the ThinkForward coaching programme which is based in six schools in Nottingham including Ellis Guilford. ThinkForward works with students who are identified as being at risk of struggling to get a job when they leave school. The five-year programme supports them to improve their attendance, behaviour and attainment and crucially provides opportunities to be mentored and get experience of the world of work.

Alex Norris is a great supporter of ThinkForward and wanted to see for himself how the charity helps young people to overcome their challenges and get ready for the workplace. He said: ‘It was great to observe ThinkForward in action, creating great opportunities for young people who might otherwise not get such an amazing opportunity to see how a law office works and understand more about the range of careers that are available. I also greatly appreciate the support from Fraser Brown who opened their doors to the students. The young people are fantastic ambassadors for our community and potentially our solicitors of the future. I am sure today’s insight visit inspired many of them.’

The budding legal eagles met with Don Peel, one of the firm’s directors. He said: ‘The students were engaged and impressive and they embraced the opportunity to experience our work environment. We enjoyed having them here and look forward to seeing them again soon.’

Barbara Strang, business partnerships manager at ThinkForward said: ‘Insight visits like these are all about inspiring our students. It’s important to introduce them to the range of careers that are out there and for them to understand what they need to be doing at school and beyond to seize these opportunities for themselves.’


Ellis Guilford students with Alex Norris MP, far right, and solicitors Chris Chan and Don Peel.






ThinkForward hosts DWP Permanent Secretary

ThinkForward has hosted a visit by Peter Schofield, the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Work and Pensions.

As part of Employability Day 2019 Mr Schofield learnt about how ThinkForward is closing the inequality gap by supporting young people in Kent, Nottingham and East London to develop the skills and experiences they need to get ready for the world of work.

David Dobson, Head of Operational Engagement at COOK, one of our business partners in Kent, spoke about why ThinkForward is the perfect match for the business: “We’re looking for opportunities to inspire young people because they’re the future of our company. We have to think differently because we’re up against a lot of different competitors, so we’re looking ahead and how we can tap into the potential of the local workforce of the future.”

Everyone present also heard from Connor, a Year 10 student from Strood Academy in Kent who spoke about his journey with ThinkForward and how he now has a clear career goal. He said: “Thanks to the work insight opportunities I’ve had with ThinkForward I know that I want to be a chef and what I need to do to get there. My self-assuredness has also improved massively. Two years ago, I would never have thought I would be here speaking to a room full of professional adults, that’s completely thanks to ThinkForward. Without my coach Julian I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

Mr Schofield took the opportunity to answer questions on work being done within the civil service is doing to address some of the challenges faced by disadvantaged young people and how the government might be able to work with employability charities in future.

“It was great to meet and hear about the great work ThinkForward, with Impetus, are doing to support young people into employment through their five-year programme. It was particularly interesting to hear about this through the personal experience of ThinkForward’s student ambassador Connor, who brilliantly exemplified the difference that ThinkForward can make to a young person, by talking me through his own journey in a confident and engaging way. Many thanks for a very interesting visit.”