About Us

Our mission...

...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. 

What drives us

In the UK, parental income remains the single strongest indicator of educational attainment. We want to level the playing field of opportunity so every child can achieve their full potential, regardless of their socio-economic background.  We believe that everyone has something they are amazing at, they just need to discover what it is and we want to help them do that. 

Our early years

The Talent Foundry (previously known as The Transformation Trust) was set up in 2009 by our Chief Executive, Amy Leonard MBE. We were initially set up as a grant-giving organisation, with the core objective of providing fully funded extra-curricular activities for school students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The aim was to provide these students with opportunities similar to those experienced and enjoyed by their peers from more affluent schools. 

In 2011, in response to market dynamics, we made the transition from being a grant-giving organisation to a service delivery organisation. We developed an operating model of Design, Deliver and Evaluate, creating bespoke programmes and delivering these in partnership with the corporate donor. Also in 2011, we established our amazing ‘Rock Assembly’ event which for many of the students we work with, is a real highlight of their year.

Our decade in numbers

Our current work

Businesses are increasingly recognising the benefits of finding diverse talent to join their workforce and power their future success. This helps promote creativity and inclusivity in their culture while also reflecting the ever increasing diversity of their customer bases.  

We are well placed to help meet this need through our network of 1,900 schools across the country, providing an invaluable pipeline of untapped talent that is geographically, demographically and ethnically diverse.

We run a number of bespoke programmes with a range of corporate partners across different sectors.  All our programmes aim to help young people develop confidence and self-belief but also include a more explicit focus on skills development, particularly core transferable skills such as teamwork, problem solving, public speaking, self-confidence, resilience and creativity as defined in the ‘Skills Builder Framework’. A number of our programmes also focus on the development of sector or industry specific attributes.

Through these initiatives, we are able to help young people ‘think big’ about their futures and access valuable employment opportunities including apprenticeships with our corporate partners and places at higher education establishments.    

Our future plans

We will be building on our existing expertise and expanding the opportunities we provide for young people.  We see exciting opportunities to extend our reach and impact into the broader HR recruitment space.  

It is also important to grow our activity in the ‘upstream’ aspect of our mission, namely to support young people to discover what they are amazing at. This is the crucial first step in helping them identify and then develop their own signature strengths. We can do this by designing programmes with new corporate partners so students have a ‘taster’ of the type of work involved in an increased range of different industries.

Our ambition is to build on our current offer to give young people the very best chance to thrive in the world of work; and at the same time support the success of our business partners by giving them access to a unique network of untapped talent.

Our structure

All our activities are overseen by a highly experienced Board which provides strategic direction and leadership.  A team of dedicated, experienced and enthusiastic staff support our CEO on the operational, management and delivery side.  A group of highly regarded senior leaders from schools around the country provides advice and guidance on new programmes to ensure that they would be popular with schools and that they fit with the national curriculum where appropriate.


corporate partners running programmes with us this academic year


schools in our network


participating students last year

hours of employability workshops offered



students who have benefitted from our programmes


bespoke programmes running this academic year so far


universities that have partnered with us


"vivid experiences" including four overseas trips


Rock Assemblies, with a combined total attendance of around 100,000 students