Future Transformation is a non-profit organization founded by Tim Rogers and is based in Bradford. It provides awareness, opportunities and experiences for those who want to get into tech.
Our aim is to enable young people to develop their understanding of potential routes into careers and opportunities in tech, whilst building their confidence in the process.
We all know that there are gaps between the north and London and the south east of the country, the gaps have only been widening over recent years and we have seen Covid-19 really accelerate that. When we talk about gaps we are looking at: attainment; aspirations; achievement; skills; health; education; life chances and productivity. Future Transformation works with schools, colleges, universities, teachers, students, parents, families, businesses and communities to close those gaps by providing outreach and inspiration programmes.
Our big project is to work with students who will: design; create; manufacture; fabricate and launch satellites into space.
Our work happens in the Leeds City Region, which is the devolved region of West Yorkshire. With devolution comes the powers to put more focus on skills and access to transport and learning. The timings lined up perfectly to make that happen along with the space cluster being created by the UK Space Agency, our cluster is called Space Hub Yorkshire.
We are critical to the outreach arm of the cluster as we know that future jobs and the future workforce need to have better and stronger STEM skills as well as what is sometimes called softer skills and they are confidence, resilience, logic, problem solving, communication, leadership, project management and team working.
Future Transformation combines the technical skills and the softer skills delivering cohesive impact creating programmes which are making a difference in Bradford, there is lots more to do and particularly with girls and young women, with us seeing that 10% or less are picking STEM subjects at GCSE, A Level, Apprenticeship, FE, HE and employment.
It is so important for students at school to get their Maths, English and Science GCSEs, with that you keep the doors open to lots of choices available to you further down the road. However, not everyone is good at exams and this doesn’t mean by any means that if you are not great at exams you can’t work in tech.
You can demonstrate your skills by designing games, websites, social media content, editing videos, creating logos – the list goes on and on. Employers love to see effort and people’s creativity, so I would advise that you do the work in school or at home if you can and create digital content, platforms and build communities – it will serve you very well in the long term.
It is also very important to remember that tech is fast moving, learn to code and be mindful that languages change but the process is largely the same. Think logically, tech is all about processes, what connects to what, how does this line of code change or improve a product or service, you have to keep in mind that working in tech is to work at the cutting edge and foundations for the future.
We are now beginning the work to build the satellite and be ready for launch and a mission in a few years time. This work means a lot to us and is very important in demonstrating what can be achieved by a diverse group of young people. We are also rolling out a SpaceArt programme whereby we will work with different people and show them how to create digital art through coding, that artwork will then hopefully be laser etched onto a satellite and be sent into orbit of the Earth.
This is all about creativity and celebrating human achievement, connecting space, tech, STEM with art and culture.
We also have an eye out for growth with our business plans to grow in the UK and also explore the opportunities in the US. We are doing this because it puts us closer to the established Space Businesses we need to build and launch our satellite but also as there are similar gaps in the US as there are here. We will also be in the UK, it is our home and where we always work with communities.
There will be more new people coming to work at Future Transformation over the next few months with excitement in the air. It’s really great. Our work will continue and we will be working with more schools, colleges, students, parents, families and community groups in Bradford Tech Week and Skills Month – sitting alongside that we will also be working with refugee families and young people which is something that is really exciting.