Who We Are
Opportunity Foundation is a charitable incorporated social enterprise established to promote access to and social mobility and meritocracy in the legal, accountancy, medical and engineering professions (“the professions”). Opportunity Foundation works through a partnership between opportunity providers such as Professional Bodies, Government Departments, Third Sector Bodies, Employers, Education, Training and Research Establishments (“Opportunity Providers”), and Opportunity Seekers such as prospective and current pupils, students or post-graduates, job seekers and employees (“Opportunity Seekers”) to facilitate access to and mobility within the professions.
What We Do
- Opportunity Foundation facilitates opportunity Seekers’ access to the professions through variety of schemes such as trainee-ships, pupillage, internships, coaching, mentor-ship, shadowing, work placements, vacation work, apprenticeship, volunteering, work shadowing, part-time work, University taster days, Summer schools, career insight days, school leaver programmes, Master classes and more.
- Opportunity Foundation also facilitates opportunity Providers’ compliance with equality legislation and the implementation of its Equal Opportunity and Corporate Social Responsibility Policies to support the equality of opportunity within their organisations.
- Opportunity Foundation facilitates resolution of disputes between Opportunity Providers and Opportunity Seekers to foster an environment that ensures just opportunity outcomes
Why We Do What We Do
Opportunity foundation was originally founded to specifically address the needs of those from disadvantaged backgrounds to access training contracts and pupillage in the legal sector. It quickly became apparent that the entry-barriers to this profession were wider and not limited to the legal profession but also included the accountancy, medical and engineering professions.
After completing their academic and vocational stages these aspirants soon find that their employability or access to the profession is limited. Aspirants are specifically further required to obtain various form of professional in-work training and practical experience such as training contract, pupillage, clinical placements and medical observerships (“Pre-qualification In-work experience”), often a pre-condition to acquiring professional practice certificates. Unfortunately, there are far fewer of these often-mandatory pre-qualification work-experience opportunities than there are aspirants, constituting a barrier to accessing the professions. Opportunity Foundations was formed to fill this gap by facilitating access to this Pre-qualification In-work experience.
Promote Post-qualification In-work growth:
Those that have overcome these barriers and qualified as medical doctors, lawyers, accountants or engineers also soon find that progress within the profession is difficult to access. This is so despite abundant laws, policies, reports, organisations and programmes to ensure this. Examples are several that touch and concern Equal Opportunity, Social Justice and Social Mobility (together called “Equality Interventions”). It is a central feature of Opportunity Foundation to translate these Equality Interventions into equality of opportunity and the just outcomes that these interventions were designed pursue.
Facilitate Pre-University Career choices:
The foundations for social justice and mobility are built in the home, schools and colleges. Therefore, Opportunity Foundation seeks to break the perceived enigmas that surround these professions by designing schemes for pupils and students to experience these professions to inform their future career choices. The Foundation hopes that this will help break the relationship between background and access to the professions.
How We Do It
To access Foundation Opportunities, all Opportunity-seekers must first register at www.foundationopportunities.org by entering key information such as background to career aspirations, choice of profession, career stage at point of registration, current qualifications,grades and background, subject interests, career aspirations. Similar Opportunity Providers must also register at www.foundationopportunities.org before they upload opportunities to the Foundation database.
Access to Opportunities Offered and Sought:
Upon registration Opportunity Seekers and Opportunity Providers will receive personalised access details to log into Foundation Opportunities Database, enabling them to match requirements. Opportunity Seekers will also receive regular email alerts of new Opportunity Offers and Opportunity Providers will be receive email alerts of new Opportunity Seekers.
Allocation of Opportunity Foundation Mentor, Coach or Facilitator:
Depending on need, the Opportunity Seekers will be introduced to a shortlist from which they can choose a mentor and coach appropriate to their career aspirations. Opportunity Providers will be allocated a Facilitator.
On identification of suitable Opportunities, an Opportunity Foundation Secretariat will support the coaches, mentors, facilitators, Seeker and Provider to complete the application process necessary to secure the opportunity.