Lifelong leadership learning in Cumbria


Dream Placement 2021

Cumbrian teenagers have less than 3 weeks to stake their claim for life-changing chances by entering Dream Placement 2021 which gives 16-18 year olds from across the county the chance to learn about career opportunities, leadership and business.

The closing date for the online applications is Monday October 26th , 2020, and they can be submitted via    The Centre for Leadership Performance which runs the programme in collaboration with businesses and educators, has devised new ways to deliver the engagement with young people, and the Dream Placements themselves which are planned to take place over the February 2021 half term. 

Schools and colleges are currently receiving video presentations and live Q&A sessions to provide details of the programme. Additional on-line resources, including video, workshops, and forums will provide further information and guidance for applicants preparing their on-line applications. 

More than 20 companies will be offering Dream Placements, ranging from major players in Cumbria’s nuclear sector to small and medium-size specialist companies and local authorities.

Executive Director Sarah Glass explains: “We are all agreed that the benefits of Dream Placement are too important to be derailed by Covid-19, and with the huge impact of the pandemic on young people it is important to continue to offer these life-changing opportunities. 

“We have worked hard to create a programme that prioritises the safety of young people and our partners in the  programme while still delivering meaningful engagement with businesses and employers.”

The Virtual Selection Event for applicants chosen for interviews is scheduled to take place on Thursday December 3rd .  All of the interviews with companies will take place via computer video links.  There will also be development activities involving students and employers – again delivered via live on-line links. 

The format for the Dream Placement Week during the February 2021 half-term is being developed with hosts and will vary from company to company, depending on their current safe working procedures at that time. 

Elements of the interaction between the placement candidates and their hosts will take place ‘virtually’ on-line because many of the host employees are expected to still be working remotely at that time.  However, there will also be ‘actual’ engagement opportunities including carefully controlled site visits and collaboration with employees and other placement candidates.

A series of on-line development opportunities will be provided for those young people who gain placements before they join their host companies.

CfLP Dream Placement co-ordinator Nicola Woolley adds: “Many of the new features reflect safe remote-working practices introduced by companies and organisations and that in itself will be invaluable experience for young people entering the post Covid-19 workplace.  We are carefully monitoring the latest Government advice and will continue to be flexible to ensure that the programme is safe and compliant. But feedback tells us that the programme is hugely important to the young people of Cumbria, so we will make every effort to ensure it goes ahead. They are the leaders of tomorrow and our most vital resource to ensure a bright future for Cumbria.”

Dream Placement is designed to create a future workforce for the county, and equip them with the skills, experience and contacts to carry them through further education, university, their first job and beyond.  The programme aims to give every 16-18-year-old applicant the knowledge to succeed and the confidence which will build their future character.  More than 2,500 young people have so far been involved with this unique Cumbrian development programme which is funded by businesses that share a commitment to invest in the county’s young people. 

Applicants will benefit from engaging with other young people and business leaders with whom they can share experiences and aspirations through Cumbria Future Leaders which was set up by CfLP and now involves almost 1000 young people.  The active youth network aims to connect and broker links with employers and other youth groups for dialogue and discussions.   

Companies and organisations so far offering placements, funding and support include:  Allerdale Borough Council , BEP Project Team, Carlisle City Council, Costain, Cumbria LEP, Doosan Babcock , Energus, Jacobs, James Fisher Nuclear, Lakes College, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, University of Manchester Dalton Cumbrian Facility, Responsive, Sellafield Ltd, Soundwave and Story Contracting, Inspira, Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster (BECBC), Hello Future, Invest in South Lakeland, Innovative Enterprise, Institute of Directors, and National Skills Academy Nuclear (NSAN). To learn more about Dream Placement 2021 visit

Organisations supporting the scheme now in its eighth year include Cumbria LEP, Inspira, Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster (BECBC), Energus, Choose Cumbria, Invest in South Lakeland, Innovative Enterprise, Institute of Directors, and National Skills Academy Nuclear (NSAN).

To learn more about Dream Placement 2021 visit

Lifelong Leadership Learning in Cumbria