The Talent Tap

The Talent Tap is a mentoring scheme that matches the talent of Academy and state school leavers with the opportunities provided by private school alumni networks. The scheme was established in 2012 and now works with 4 state academies and 3 private schools.

The Talent Tap delivers support and mentoring by assisting students, who would not otherwise have the opportunity, to gain work experience. The reality of today’s jobs market is that many careers can only be accessed if the applicant can demonstrate appropriate work experience on their CV. There is an inherent unfairness in this system. Work experience is often unpaid, and entails costs for both travel and accommodation.  As such it is only students who can afford to spend weeks at a time working for free who can afford to gain such experience. On top of this access to work experience requires a network of contacts and an understanding of what opportunities are out there. 

The Talent Tap scheme exists to help with all of this. The Talent Tap provides the contacts required to access work experience, as well as the financial support needed to allow talented students to take advantage of the opportunity.



Our Vision

To change the lives of talented students by giving them the training, support and contacts they need to succeed in the work place.  In doing so we hope to create a network of successful state educated professionals who subsequently give time to supporting future generations of state educated students. We are creating a Talent Tap Alumni network. 


Some Headlines

  • Supported over 120 students with work experience to date

  • Proven the model of linking private school alumni networks with academy student leavers

  • The Talent Tap is in a critical space: Private schools need to prove their charitable status - state schools are under pressure from OFSTED to improve career advice

  • In 8th year of working with Wellington College and The Wellington Academy

  • In 5th year of working with Marlborough College and Swindon Academy

  • In 3rd year of working with Cheltenham College and All Saints Academy

  • 2nd year of working with Christ the King College, Isle of Wight

  • Actively looking for additional private schools to partner with state providers

Solving needs across secondary education

The lack of social mobility in the UK is now consistently in the headlines.  As the recently released Social Mobility Commission’s 2016 report states, ‘the lack of social mobility and opportunity in Britain for the middle and lower ends of the socio-economic spectrum are significant and getting worse’.   As a direct result, talented and hard working individuals are failing to maximise their potential, the country is not making the most of its human capital and the gap between rich and poor is increasing.

At The Talent Tap we have always believed that leveraging independent schools’ resources and alumni networks, in order to give state school students work experience and the opportunity to get top jobs, was an extremely effective way of tackling social mobility.  That has now been recognised in the SMC’s 2016 report, which states:

“The Government should require independent schools to provide high-quality careers advice, support with university applications and share their business networks with state schools.”

In line with The Talent Tap’s model, during which our students conduct a two-week residential package, the SMC’s report specifically encourages organisations to provide the opportunity for students to travel and stay away from home whilst conducting work experience.

Finally, the SMC’s report highlights the importance of the timing of intervention and the quality of the career advice being offered: 

“…the Secretary of State for Education has asserted her support for students getting ‘the right advice at the right time’. But current policy fails to give any guarantee on the quality or regularity of careers advice, particularly for those children that most need advice to translate their achievements in school into opportunities”.

The Talent Tap is focused on giving the right advice, at the right time, to allow students to translate their achievements at school into fulfilling career opportunities.