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Future Leaders Programme

In London, young Black students are more likely to be excluded from school than White British students and young black men and women experience high unemployment rates.

To tackle these issues, the first phase of Future Leaders supported young Black men who had been excluded or were at risk of exclusion from mainstream school to make a successful transition into a post-16 destination, overcome the barriers they may face such as a lack of networks, social capital and soft skills, and prepare them to be ready to find a fulfilling career. In May 2024, delivery of the second phase of Future Leaders will begin, which will work with young Black men and women who have been excluded or are at risk of exclusion from mainstream education.

ThinkForward has used its expertise in coaching and employability to bring together a range of activities designed to harness the potential of our Future Leaders and inspire them to develop career aspirations based on their skills, abilities and interests. An experienced programme manager and coaches build trusted relationships and provide consistent support for 250 young black men and women in Year 10, for up to two years. Phase 2 of Future Leaders will run in Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham and include in-school alternative provisions and external alternative provisions.

One-to-one coaching

Students on Future Leaders will benefit from one-to-one coaching with an action plan setting out goals and how to achieve them. As with our other programmes, their progress is tracked along seven Work Readiness Capabilities which were identified by employers as being the most desirable qualities in staff. They are: self-assured, self-aware, driven, receptive, resilient, organised and good communicator. Brought together, these transferable skills help to equip young people for their future careers and promote black excellence.

Black professional and peer mentoring

Our young people will be mentored by Black peers and professionals, take part in social action projects and benefit from career advice.

World of work

We tap into our existing networks of employers and develop new partnerships to offer relevant experience of the world of work through work placements, career fairs and insight days.

Parental engagement

Parental engagement is very important to us. We believe the more parents and carers are engaged in their children’s education and aspirations, the more likely their child is to succeed. We will continuously be connecting with parents, giving updates on their child’s progress while providing opportunities to fully involve parents where necessary.

Employer engagement

With support from the West London Careers Hub, the programme team will engage with employer partners to increase their awareness of the needs of the young people and encourage them to make the workplace welcoming and inclusive. This will also ensure that our young people can expand their professional and social networks whilst they embark on their future careers.

Programme background

Phase 1 of Future Leaders was set up as part of the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) Effective Transitions Programme. Future Leaders will be evaluated, and the findings used to achieve better outcomes and increase the impact of future projects working to prevent young black men and women becoming unemployed. Phase 2 of the programme is run in partnership with West London Careers Hub and the Careers & Enterprise Company.

If you have any questions or would like any further information, please email: