HeadStart London | Helping young people get ahead in the world of work

HeadStart London | Helping young people get ahead in the world of work

Young people in Elephant & Castle are getting a glimpse into the world of work with the help of an inspiring youth programme, across two approaches.

HeadStart London

Devised specifically for older teenagers, HeadStart London is a programme created by social integration charity The Challenge in partnership with Team London that is bridging the gap between education and work.

The programme helps to upskill and empower young people, allowing them to better prepare for the next steps in life, whether that be in further education or into employment.

Bringing together industry leaders, charities and young people, HeadStart couples volunteering with learning and employer encounters to show the benefits of helping local charities and communities, as well as teaching life skills for the future.

The programme, which launched in 2014, has supported 5,000+ young people to undertake more than 170,000 hours of volunteering, promoting integration between people and organisations from various backgrounds.

Those on the programme who volunteer a minimum of 16 hours with a local charity or community partner are rewarded with professionally-led employability workshops and masterclasses.

Once workshops are completed, participants are guaranteed interviews for work experience, internships or paid employment with partner businesses, including Zendesk, Starbucks, Mitchells & Butlers and the Greater London Authority.

HeadStart Action

Alongside HeadStart London, and catering to those with fewer opportunities, sits HeadStart Action. This programme is designed for  14-18 year olds in London who are at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training).

Developed in partnership with the Mayor of London and Lendlease, this tailored 16-week programme makes use of social action and employer encounters to offer support to young people. The programme covers goal setting, employability skills workshops, mentoring support throughout and including:

  • creating a social action project, empowering young people to instigate social change;
  • taking part in employability skills training workshops, building on their project experiences;
  • attending careers-focused events with corporate partners, who highlight the variety of career opportunities available;
  • attending interviews to secure work experience placements with a corporate partner such as Lendlease; and
  • showcasing their projects in a celebration event, with an opportunity to network with a range of professionals and share their experience on the programme.

After HeadStart Action was successfully piloted in 2018 with pupils from Ark Globe Academy, St Thomas the Apostle College and Harris Academy Peckham in Southwark, the programme has been rolled out in Hackney, Haringey, Newham and Westminster to help increase opportunities for over 400 young people.

Schools looking for more information on either of these inspiring programmes should take a look at the HeadStart website: https://www.headstart-thechallenge.org/

To learn more about careers at Lendlease, and learn more about graduate projects, click here.