The Early Careers Foundation is funded by The Early Careers Company. All expenditure is directly paid for by the business, and Foundation employees are employed by the Company and seconded, full-time, to the Foundation.

Our Foundation has a unique structure, designed to ensure that we deliver the best initiatives possible to the young people that we support.

Given the funding from The Early Careers Company, our charity is unique in that we don’t seek donations, nor need them to operate.

This means that everyone involved is aligned to one goal: to give thousands of young people from low-income backgrounds the confidence, exposure and tools they need to succeed in the working world.

This structure is made up of seven key groups, combining to create an effective and well-resourced charity:

The Early Careers Foundation Team

The employees of the Foundation. The team are employed by The Early Careers Company and seconded, full-time, to the charity.

This team will scale as the Foundation and Company grow.

Board of Trustees

A group of eight incredible people, responsible for reporting, oversight, high-level strategy and sign-off. Our Directors are a combination of business leaders, senior HR/talent leaders and educationalists.

The Early Careers Company Team

The employees of The Early Careers Company, who are all seconded part-time (approximately 10%) to the Foundation – supporting the Foundation team with day-to-day management of the Foundation, and delivery of the initiatives.

Advisory Group

A group of fifteen Talent, People and HR professionals – those with more time than our Directors and likely to have their ‘ears to the ground’ more in our space, who work with The Early Careers Company team to develop initiatives, provide feedback on developments, help form corporate partnerships and share their expertise.

Corporate Partners

Our Corporate Partners are the backbone of our programmes. They support our initiatives by encouraging their employees to become mentors on our mentoring programme, and/or creating content for the Future Hub app.

Partnering with The Early Careers Foundation is completely free – all we ask of our Corporate Partners is some of their time and expertise to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

School Partners

Our School Partners are an integral part of our initiatives and work with young people across the country.

We work alongside schools in the UK where around 15-20% of their student population have been eligible for free school meals at some point during their education.

The aim of our partnerships with schools is to help their students learn about careers, develop the essential skills needed for them and benefit from the guidance of a mentor.


A group of diverse young professionals, employed by our Corporate Partners across a wide range of industries, who will support our brilliant young people as a mentor.


Why do we exist?

The Early Careers Foundation wants to create a society where talent, not background, determines a young person’s career success.

However, in the UK, we are still very far away from this reality

Children on Free School Meals are, at 27 years old:


less likely to be in sustained employment


more likely to be on out-of-work benefits

Family wealth at birth is the most accurate indicator of future financial success.

Not IQ, race or gender.

Only 6% of doctors, 12% of journalists and 12% of chief executives today are from working-class origins.

By age 25, someone who went to a fee paying school is, on average

than their state-educated peers.

A low ability child from a high-income family is


more likely to be a high earner

than a high ability child from a low income family.


We believe that early careers can be a fantastic leveller for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds – not to mention that employees from lower socio-economic backgrounds perform at least as well as their more advantaged colleagues, and often outperform them.

In fact, across seven leading law firms, employees educated at state schools are 75% more likely to be in the top 10% of performers than those educated at independent schools. However, family wealth at birth is the most accurate predictor of future financial success – why?

Career guidance in education is often patchy and outdated

Many young people leave university with a poor understanding of the career opportunities available to them. Often, the career path they do embark on will be through a chance encounter, an introduction through their network or the first thing they encountered when job searching.

Young people from low-income communities are typically the most disadvantaged when it comes to understanding of the world of careers. They often only know of very traditional professions such as being a doctor, lawyer or accountant.

How can they pursue a career path if they don’t even know it exists?

Higher education does not result in improved employment outcomes for many

More young people than ever from low-income families are now attending university.
For many, this has largely failed to translate into the career outcomes they had hoped for. Many remain stuck in non-graduate and low-paid roles.

Lack of connections in a culture of “who you know”, lack of industry knowledge, inability to move to London (where opportunity is concentrated) due to starting salaries that cannot cover living costs, not having internship experience many privileged candidates do and classist discrimination are all contributing factors.