HeadStart Action provides bespoke support to young people in disadvantaged areas, helping them to gain employability skills, aid in their personal development, and introduce them to social action. It was developed to work alongside the award-winning HeadStart London, our programme for 16-18 year olds in education which helps to bridge the gap between schools and employment. We felt we needed a programme that provided more tailored support to those with less opportunities.
The programme has worked with pupils from Ark Globe Academy in Southwark, and is currently working with St Thomas the Apostle College and Harris Academy Peckham.
Pupils are supported to:
- create a social action project, empowering them to instigate social change
- take part in employability skills training workshops with programme partner Lendlease
- attend a careers-focused workshop around the many career paths within the construction industry, delivered by Lendlease
- build their networks with employers
- interview for one of 15 internships for 2018/19 with Lendlease
The first focuses on social action, with projects led by London Bubble Theatre Company and Football Beyond Borders. These projects teach them of their own voice within their community and beyond, culminating in a showcase at City Hall in front of Matthew Ryder, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement.
The second phase, delivered by The Challenge, focuses on employability skills training and continued personal development. It reflects on what was achieved in their social action projects and how these achievements can fit into the skills employers look for. There are five employability skills workshops to discuss first impressions, communication and interview techniques, in preparation for Lendlease work placements. Finally, it encourages young people to join the main HeadStart programme, so that continued support is available.
Our ambition for this particular pilot is to support 90 young people within Southwark to complete the programme by March 2019. We then hope to roll it out across London, bringing these opportunities to even more young people.
Pupils at Ark Globe Academy showcasing their social action projects at an event held at City Hall, in front of Matthew Ryder, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement.