Companies including Barclays, M&G plc and Dell Technologies provide over 1k hours of volunteering 

In the 2020/21 Academic Year, independent education charity, The Talent Foundry (@talent_foundry) has worked with 54,378 students and run 655 workshops, despite having to rethink how to deliver their programmes in light of the pandemic.  The companies and organisations they develop and deliver programmes for volunteered a massive 1175 hours of their time to help disadvantaged children, supporting workshops virtually due to the restrictions. 

The charity’s aim is to increase social mobility by helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds discover what they are amazing at, develop valuable new employment skills and take that first step into the world of work.

The impact of Covid-19 on everyone has been significant, but for disadvantaged communities it has been devastating.  Research from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) found that teachers in the most deprived schools (those with the greatest proportion of pupils on free school meals) were more than three times as likely (53%) to say their pupils were at least four months behind, compared with those in the wealthiest schools (15%).

 The Resolution Foundation has projected that youth employment could rise by 640,000 this year, with school leavers worst hit and taking the total of unemployed 18 – 25-year-olds to one million. A reduction in education, employment and training opportunities will hit the most disadvantaged young people the hardest.

Programmes designed by The Talent Foundry focus on helping children develop practical skills, such as CV writing, effective communication and interview techniques.  They hope to provide participants with a real insight into the different career paths they could follow and to boost their confidence along the way.

Students participating in The Talent Foundry’s programmes get to hear about the latest trends and technological developments in different industries straight from the professionals who work in them.  They also get to learn about a wide range of social and environmental issues and take part in challenges and problem solving tasks based on real life client briefs.

Organisations The Talent Foundry have worked with this year include:

  • Barclays
  • MediaCom
  • Dell Technologies
  • KPMG
  • NHS
  • M&G plc
  • Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI)

Cate Smith, Head of Programmes at The Talent Foundry said:

“I am beyond delighted that The Talent Foundry has managed to help over 50k children during the last academic year despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.  The high take up by schools of the opportunities we offer demonstrates how worthwhile they find the employability events and workshops that we work closely with leading organisations to provide.

I want to say a huge thank you to all the organisations that work with us to help young people think more about, and be better prepared for, their future.  This year, more than ever, the time they have given is so important as children have missed out on many traditional work experience opportunities.

The number of programmes The Talent Foundry has been able to deliver this year shows that businesses are still committed to investing in young people to help avoid a severe skills shortage gap in the future.  We and the partners we work with are driven by a desire to level the playing field.  It is wrong that so many talented young people are being left behind purely because of their background.”

Note: The Talent Foundry’s programmes, and events are only open to schools with higher than average numbers of pupils eligible for pupil premium funding within their local authority.

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