Headstart participant

HeadStart London

Created by The Challenge and Team London, HeadStart London brings together industry leaders, charities and young people to bridge the employability gap between schools and work. 

HeadStart London was created by youth charity The Challenge and Team London. It brings together industry leaders, charities and youngpeople to help bridge the gap between schools and work. Since launching, it has helped 5,000 young people to give over 100,000 hours of volunteering to their communities.

Through HeadStart London, young people aged 16-18 and still in education are rewarded for their volunteering with employability workshops. They are also guaranteed interviews for paid work with partner businesses.

The programme consists of five consecutive stages that prepare a young person to enter the world of paid work:

  • Volunteer: participants volunteer a minimum of 16 hours at a local charity within two months
  • Develop: participants develop key employability skills through workshops created with partner businesses
  • Communicate: participants hone their communication skills with a masterclass
  • Interview: all participants who complete the first three stages are guaranteed an interview for paid employment
  • Work: successful candidates are offered paid work placements at partner businesses

We have been working with HeadStart since the programme started in 2013 and are extremely proud of the success of the programme. Starbucks hires dedicated, high-performing people who learn quickly on the job and thrive in a fast-paced environment - just the type of young people who come through the HeadStart programme. Each Starbucks store is committed to helping its local community and HeadStart perfectly reflects this important aspect of our organisation. Simon Redfern, VP Corporate Affairs for Starbucks

It opened up so many different opportunities and gave me the chance to meet all sorts of people. Even if I hadn't got the job, the workshops were beneficial in the long-term because those skills and tips can be used for anything and everything in the real world. Inushka Sachdeva, 17, from West London who participated in HeadStart in August 2016


HeadStart London Partners

HeadStart London is delivered in partnership with youth empowerment charity, The Challenge. The programme is made possible thanks to the support of: