The Challenge is the UK's leading charity for building a more integrated society, a society in which there is understanding and appreciation of each other's differences. The Challenge delivers three programmes, including HeadStart, National Citizens Service (NCS) and StepForward.
Berkeley Group, in partnership with the Foundation has become the construction industry champion for HeadStart London, a programme which helps to increase the employability skills of school-age young people and prepare them for work.
Through professional workshops, work experience and volunteering, HeadStart sets out to broaden 16-18 year olds' skills and experience, improving their employability and giving them an insight into a range of different industries.
As a core programme partner, the Berkeley Foundation has helped to fund HeadStart, as well as providing a series of workshops, assessment days, work experience placements and a construction site visit. This year 85 young people have engaged in a Berkeley Group workshop, 52 young people were given their first interview for a job and 19 took part in paid work experience placements. This would not have been possible without the support of Berkeley Group staff, who volunteered 100 hours to help with the delivery of the workshops and interview days.
2016/17 has been a pivotal year for HeadStart, as it has gained a foothold in all 32 of London's Boroughs. The support the programme has received in London has been central to enabling The Challenge to launch it nationwide.
This year has also seen the development of a new HeadStart model, which targets young people at risk of becoming NEET, supporting them to remain in education and achieve their development goals.