Step Forward

Step Forward brings together new school leavers from all backgrounds, providing them with one year’s professional work experience and skills training.

All participants build a professional and peer network across sectors and gain training in highly transferable skills and character development. They also build experience and knowledge in their chosen field. 

Step Forward recruits participants based on their potential to thrive, rather than the opportunities that they have already received. This makes sure young people from all backgrounds have the chance to develop the personal and professional skills, as well as the connections, required to thrive in a diverse workplace.

Step Forward enables employers to recruit talented school-leavers and ensures that young people from all backgrounds get the jobs their talent deserves.

Nearly a third of young people who have heard of Step Forward rated it as their first choice when leaving school, perceiving it as widening their debt-free options at 18. In its first year Step Forward was extremely popular, with over 400 applications for just 48 places. This year 150 participants are taking part in the programme.

The programme lasts 12 months and involves:

  • Induction: Participants spend a part-residential week with their peers.
  • Classroom-based training: Participants are taught by an expert tutor in their chosen programme. All young people also receive a personal mentor and career and academic advice.
  • Workplace-based training: Participants spend 30 hours a week learning through practical action.
  • Professional Development: Participants develop teamwork, leadership and communication skills through training with their peers.
  • Networks: All learners become part of a cohort of young people working with different employers.

 

If you are interested in the Step Forward programme or require any further information, please visit the Step Forward website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



  • The Challenge is the largest provider of the National Citizen Service in the UK



  • 72% of our NCS participants agreed with the statement: ‘I am more able to trust people’



  • We employ over 400 permanent staff nationally and over 3,500 seasonal staff



  • 76% of our NCS participants felt more confident about getting a job in the future



  • In 2014, 93% of HeadStart graduates felt they had improved communication skills



  • In 2014, 66% of HeadStart graduates felt they would continue volunteering after HeadStart



  • Nearly a third of young people who have heard of Step Forward rated it as their first choice when leaving school



  • In 2014, 85% of HeadStart graduates felt they better trusted people from different walks of life



  • In 2014, The Challenge collaborated with 800 community and business partners



  • In 2014, 78% of HeadStart graduates felt more connected to their community



  • 88% of our NCS participants felt they were better at working in a team



  • 94% of young people attending NCS, delivered by The Challenge in 2014, attended state schools, with 13% on free school meals



  • Step Forward received over 400 applications in its first year for just 48 places



  • 7% of those attending NCS, delivered by The Challenge in 2014, had a disability



  • In 2014, 52% of participants in NCS, delivered by The Challenge, were from a black and minority ethnic background



  • Over 30,000 16 and 17 year olds will take part in NCS delivered by The Challenge in 2015