The Talent Foundry prides itself on levelling the playing field of opportunity so that every young person can achieve their full potential and discover what they're amazing at. In the 10 years since we've been established, we have organised and run a number of fantastic bespoke programmes with our corporate partners that span many diverse industry sectors. We have offered these opportunities to the incredible young people in our schools network to help them develop the necessary skills to thrive in the future. To highlight our achievements, here are some of the testimonials from participating students, teachers and corporate partners, both past and present:
“The Talent Foundry continue to offer disadvantaged pupils in our geographically and socially diverse local area a unique opportunity that is highly valued by pupils, their parents, schools and our university. Not only is their provision unique but also self-contained in terms of the partnership reaching out effectively and coordinating all aspects of top quality delivery. Evaluations speak for themselves and we are proud partners that see a long future of need, opportunity and learning that together add up to one of our most valued collaborations with such impeccably professional providers.”
Dr John Blicharski, Access and Participation Manager, University of Dundee
“Over the course of the mentoring programme, I’ve watched my students progress and become more confident in themselves. In our school, we have lots of powerful characters, and some of the students don’t necessarily get the chance to speak up. On this programme, I’ve seen those same students come and become the spokesperson; they have become leaders in the group and they are interacting with everyone in the room, from industry mentors to students from other schools. These kind of opportunities are so important for our young people, who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to experience something like this.”
Careers Lead, Space Studio West London
“Being an alumna of The Talent Foundry’s Inspire US programme undoubtedly changed my life. I am a British student pursuing my undergraduate degree in History and Literature and Social Anthropology at Harvard University and my journey is a testament to the power of The Talent Foundry’s educationally focused social mobility programmes. As a first-generation university student, entering any higher education institution is intimidating; but I strongly believe that my Talent Foundry experience helped arm me with skills and cultural capital. I am eternally grateful to the opportunity I was given to take part in such a brilliant programme, for recognising my potential and enabling me to recognise my own. The number one reason that people are not admitted to Harvard University is that they don’t apply and I can honestly say it is The Talent Foundry that gave me the self-belief to do just that.”
Student participant, Inspire US 2020
"One of the greatest joys of teaching is seeing the successes of your students. Through The Talent Foundry's 'MediaCom & Me' programme, I have had the absolute privilege of witnessing that process accelerate, and experiencing that joy; two of the students who attended the mentoring programme were offered places on MediaCom’s apprenticeship programme, and another two were offered work experience placements. Although the journey of the mentoring programme was relatively short, the impact on the young people has been undeniably life changing. One student in particular was shy, unassuming, nervous and unsure about her career paths. By the end of the programme, she was putting her hand up, volunteering and presenting original and industry standard ideas to her peers and to professionals. I dread to think of the opportunities, the skills gained, and the character development that would have been lost had it not been for this outstanding programme."
Teacher, Skinners Academy
“Inspire US 2016 was the trip of a lifetime! I was one of the lucky students who joined The Talent Foundry in their 2016 trip to America. This not only gave me life changing skills – such as campaigning (canvassing and on social media), problem solving, researching and presenting - but was an experience that raised my aspirations and opened the doors of opportunities.
I had never been to the United States before and I had a great interest in politics, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me when my teacher presented it to me. Seeing the ins and outs of a campaign - more specifically the presidential campaign - gave me the valuable skills needed which I used for my own project to increase political participation amongst youth.
Working with fellow students across the country from London down south to the northern tips of Scotland taught me the importance of teamwork, effective communication and working with people from all cultures, backgrounds and upbringings which has helped me at university.
Having Inspire US in my personal statement is definitely one of the main reasons I got 5 out of 5 offers when I applied for university – it allowed me to stand out from 99% of students applying to the politics courses. The trip has allowed me to pursue my future career as a diplomat with one foot in the door, it has not only proved to be successful on my CV but has always been a conversation starting point with academics and potential employers. I want to thank The Talent Foundry for me giving me this amazing opportunity which has not only taught me valuable skills but given me a lifetime of memories.”
Student participant, Inspire US 2016
"My experience with The Talent Foundry (TTF) is one that I am very grateful for. I always wanted to pursue a career in media, but I had no idea how to get a foot in the door of the industry. However, that changed after my school was told about a six month mentoring programme called MediaCom & Me which was being run by The Talent Foundry.
At the workshops each month I learnt about all the different areas of MediaCom, while also learning skills that would be helpful for my future, such as negotiation, public speaking and strategic thinking. Because we worked alongside mentors from the business, I was also able to meet loads of amazing people who work for MediaCom.
After the programme ended, I applied for the MediaCom apprentice scheme and got in! I completed my rotation in The Entertainment Department (TED) and gained experience in comms planning and paid social for Universal Pictures as well as print and radio. Fast forward a year later, and I am now a Comms Planning Executive in TED for Universal Pictures (which fits in perfectly with my passion for film). I always find myself referring to the skills I learned and developed during the MediaCom & Me programme. I can honestly say that it was exposure to TED during one of the sessions that provided me with a sense of clarity on what role I wanted to pursue within the industry.
I have really appreciated that since the programme finished the support has not been cut off - TTF are still in contact with me, which I value as I navigate the ever-changing world of work. Charities like TTF are so important in nurturing future talent. Not many young people are aware of these opportunities and the bridges that TTF build create connections which can lead to the start of something amazing."
Student participant, MediaCom & Me