Talent Champions trying out their fundraising skills at the airport

Open Talent is our initiative to build a thriving network of Foyers focused on spotting, coaching and promoting young people’s talents.

The Open Talent journey began in July 2011 as a pilot in the North West region, funded by our partners Virgin Unite. Foyers, staff and young people that are engaging in Open Talent are exploring a new approach that emphasises talent spotting and talent building. Inspired by the life-coaching model, Open Talent calls on those who work with young people to consider talent in the broadest possible sense; it is not an elitist word. Talent can be any positive characteristic or ability. By identifying and investing in these positives we can truly make a difference for young people and enable them to make a successful transition to adult independence.

Personalisation, personalisation, personalisation! Open Talent started as a pilot. It’s now the way we work with all our young people.

Angela Richardson |
Project Manager | Eden Rural Foyer, Impact Housing Association

At Forum we’ve made a big change to our service. The Open Talent coaching model is THE new support model!

Steve Fogg |
Forum Housing

Watch this great video from Braintree Foyer on their Open Talent journey which is being managed by our partners Youth At Risk:

The five areas of Open Talent

Open Talent works by giving young people access to:

1. places to open talent
2. people to open talent
3. opportunities to spot, develop and promote talent
4. a personalised deal between a young person and those who work with them to invest in their talents
5. a campaign to end disadvantaged thinking by promoting an asset-based focus on young people’s potential

Read more about our Open Talent campaign to transform the way services work with young people.

Open Talent is continuing to progress into something inspirational, exciting and productive in the form of shaping and reforming lives. It shows positivity and progression for young people in the borough [of Merton]. Everyone is special and has the talent/ability to achieve their dreams and reach their full potential with the right direction, focus and determination in life!


Russelle | Grenfell Foyer

Building a thriving network

All of our member Foyers were invited to attend an Open Talent Inspire Day in their region to find out more. Those attending were then invited to apply for our Open Talent Service Development Package. Our Service Development Package has been devised to develop advantaged thinking cultures and working practices in services to open talent in all young people. In 2012 we opened up our application process for Foyers to access the Service Development Package. Six Foyers were selected in Round 1, with a further 10 Foyers in Round 2, each on the strength of a solid application and a commitment to transform their services.

The Open Talent Service Development Package includes:
  • An Ignite Day, delivered by Carl Miller and the Foyer Federation. Ignite Days are designed to engage and enthuse staff and young people in Open Talent.
  • Personalised Talent Bonds for young people. A Talent Bond is a small pot of money that young people can access to enable them to invest in their own talents.
  • MyNav training, licence and support. MyNav is an online learning platform which brings together new technology and informal learning opportunities to deliver a personalised package of support.
  • Working Assets training and seed funding. Working Assets is an initiative which gets young people planning, delivering and celebrating a project of their own design which develops their skills for work.
  • Practitioner learning and development forums. The practitioner forums bring Open Talent practitioners together to share best practice and explore Open Talent in action.
  • TalentS quality assurance scheme. TalentS is a new take on quality assurance and an opportunity for services to demonstrate and celebrate the culture of innovation.

Through our e-bulletin and blog we are featuring a different service each month; their learning and achievements on the journey of implementing the service development package and transforming their offer to young people. To follow along make sure you’re subscribed to the e-bulletin and look out for the OTSDP tag on our news and blog.

View all Open Talent news and blog posts