Helping Bridge the Gap Between School and Employment

13 Mar 2020

HeadStart Action is a personal and social development programme for young people aged 14-18 years at risk of becoming not in education, employment or training.  This innovative volunteering programme aims to bridge the gap between school and employment by providing targeted workshops that engage and inspire young people, giving them the skills, experience and connections they need to get ahead in the world of work.

Designed in 2017 by the Challenge, UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society, in partnership with the Mayor of London and Lendlease, HeadStart Action has promoted social action, increased employability and personal development in participants. Set over 16 weeks, the programme was piloted in Southwark, London, with 91 young people from St Thomas Apostle Collage and Harris Academy participating.  

Results from the programme showed that:  

  • 91% of graduates felt they are closer to achieving their active goals. 
  • 96% of graduates felt they improved on their areas of development.  
  • 84% feel they understand the skills that employers are looking for. 

Following the success of the pilot programme in Southwark, The Mayor of London has allocated £200k to expand HeadStart Action across other boroughs as part of the Young Londoner’s Fund. In January 2020, HeadStart Action Southwark piloted the fifth HeadStart Action Programme.  

Partnership on the HeadStart Action programme is another example of Lendleases Sustainability Framework in action. Efforts support fall under our focus areas Community Inclusion and Economic Prosperity.  


Focus Areas

Decent work and economic growth