From education to employment

The Talent Foundry CEO to step down after 15 years of leadership; Deputy CEO appointed as successor

After 15 years of visionary leadership, The Talent Foundry announces that founder and CEO, Amy Leonard MBE, will be stepping down from her role in January 2024.

Under Amy’s leadership, The Talent Foundry has worked with over 600,000 young people in underserved communities helping them discover what they are amazing at and building their skills and confidence for school and work.

Founded as The Transformation Trust in 2009, and rebranded to The Talent Foundry in 2019, the charity works in partnership with schools and industry to inspire young people to think big about their futures, develop their skills and connect them to exciting employers and higher education opportunities.

In this time, Amy has been integral to helping young people discover what they are amazing at, and building the networks and connections which allow young people to access diverse career pathways into sectors such financial services, construction, technology, and professional services.

This announcement comes as the charity celebrates the 10-year anniversaries of working in partnership with Barclays on their flagship LifeSkills programme, and Dell Technologies to continue to support young people in underserved communities feel confident about their futures.

Sir David Bell, Chair of Trustees at The Talent Foundry said:

“We are incredibly grateful for Amy’s exceptional contribution to The Talent Foundry. Her vision in setting up the charity to level the playing field of opportunity for young people was ahead of its time. Particularly now as we look back at the tumultuous periods of the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis that have affected young people already facing significant barriers to employment the most.

“With the disadvantage gap widening – her foresight in bringing those less advantaged by their background the same opportunities to develop and grow as their wealthier peers is now needed more than ever. Amy’s unwavering commitment to social mobility and sparking new ways to bring employability skills into the classroom have been integral to our success.”

The Trustees are delighted to announce that Jenni Anderson, who has been serving as Acting CEO since January 2023 has been appointed as CEO from January 2024.

Sir David Bell continues:

“We are delighted that Jenni will continue to lead The Talent Foundry as CEO. She is passionate about improving the opportunities for young people facing disadvantage and committed to bringing together expertise from industry to connect and engage young people.

“Jenni brings over 20 years of charity leadership experience and we are excited about the future for the charity and its continued growth under her stewardship.”

Amy Leonard said:

“I am incredibly proud of what The Talent Foundry has achieved over the last 15 years – it’s been wonderful to see how the organisation has grown from the 250 schools we worked with in the early years, to the thousands we work with today. We are now a truly national charity and whilst scale matters, it’s the individual stories of underserved students discovering their talents and forging exciting futures that means so much more.

“I am so delighted that someone with Jenni’s passion and skill will be taking the Talent Foundry forward into its next chapter, and I have every confidence that it will continue to go from strength to strength and become a major player in effecting social mobility.”

Amy was awarded an MBE in 2020 in recognition of her establishing The Talent Foundry and for services to young people and education.

Jenni is a former Director at The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and has held senior leadership positions at Haven House Children’s Hospice, and The Scout Association. She was appointed Deputy CEO at The Talent Foundry in April 2022.

The Talent Foundry remains dedicated to its founding mission:

  • Firstly, we believe that everyone has something they can be amazing at. They just need to discover what that is, and we can help them do that.
  • Secondly, we believe that all young people deserve equal opportunities in life, regardless of their background or financial circumstances.

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