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. 

Launched in June 2014, we aim to have supported 5,000 young people by 2017.

Addressing the challenges of youth unemployment and social segregation in the capital, HeadStart rewards 16-18 year-olds who are still in education for their volunteering with employability workshops and guaranteed interview 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
  • Develop: participants develop key employability skills through workshops created with partner businesses
  • Communicate: participants hone their communication skills with a masterclass delivered by AGL Young People
  • 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

Since launching the programme in 2014:

  • 3000 young people have volunteered nearly 50,000 hours
  • 234 causes have been supported with 480 different volunteering opportunities
  • 70% of participants have been assessed as ‘job ready’ by businesses, compared to 20% of normal pipeline of entry level recruits
  • 97% of participants improved their communication skills
  • 77% of participants now feel responsible for making a difference in their local community  
  • 86% of participants are likely to continue to volunteer after the programme 
  • Participants improved their ability to present well at interviews by 15%

We are totally in awe of this project. The majority of the candidates had a wide range of evidence to support their answers which showed a level of maturity and responsibility that we always want to see in interviews. New Look, Interviewing Manager. 

HeadStart London

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

Get in touch

If you are 16-18 year old and would like to participate in the HeadStart London programme, please contact The Challenge.

If you are a business interested in becoming a HeadStart London partner, please get in touch via email and a member of our team will respond.