Thousands of state school pupils across the south west will soon be able to connect with successful alumni to give them confidence about entering the world of work.

The scheme will link 12,000 students from 40 secondary schools and sixth-form colleges across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset to former students who will act as role models and show that “people like them” can succeed.

The Sustainable Alumni Communities Project will be delivered by education charity Future First in partnership with the Schools, Students and Teachers network. It will be funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company.

Each school will be supported by a Future First alumni officer and will have access to an online database for the contact and employment details of the former students.

Staff will then be trained on how best to use the “untapped wealth of talents” of their alumni.

Christine Gilbert (pictured), executive chair of Future First, said: “If students see people like them have succeeded, they are more likely to believe they can too. They work harder and have higher expectations of success.”

Schools in the region can apply at

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