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02 July 2015

Thursday 02 July 2015

Yesterday over 25 supporters from over 20 partner organisations came to the Ritzy in Lambeth, home of our construction and employability programme Build-it. Two years in, Build-it has supported over 1,200 young people through the programme, 28% of whom have found full time employment.

Until now the programme has been entirely grant funded through the Big Lottery, but given the value Build-it generates for young people, communities and the local construction economy, we wanted to bring partners together to discuss its future.  

Important stakeholders heard from Hyde Plus Employment and Enterprise Manager Yvonne Pick, who works closely with London Youth on Build-it, about the value of the programme. Hyde Plus is the social investment team of the Hyde Group housing association, and Yvonne described how Build-it  not only supports their social purpose  by improving engagement, social cohesion and making their houses better places to live, but helps young people get a crucial foot on the employment ladder.

The future of Build-it was discussed by James Alexander, our Head of Build-it, and Phil Kerry, our Programmes Director, who outlined the vision to develop Build-it into a sustainable enterprise with a partnership model. This will make it better suited to responding to market needs and enhance the employability prospects of the young people taking part.

Everyone was placed into four groups: Sites, Mentoring and Training, Business Development and Employment. The main headlines from each were:

Sites

  • Clarity on the offer and training for young people is key
  • There are exciting opportunities in terms of recovering condemned property

Mentoring and Training

  • The chance for young people who have gone through the programme to be mentors key
  • Goal setting on a personal basis and trust are important factors for young people

Business Development

  • A partnership model is an encouraging step going forward
  • Taking the right amount of time and not rushing are key components to making  a sustainable business plan

Employment

  • Skills-training is  important so young people can make the most out of the employment opportunities
  • Laying down expectations from employers and young people is vital for young people to thrive

Rosie Ferguson said:

“Build-it has something special that delivers value for young people, local estates and the construction industry. Given this triple benefit and the successes of the programme to date we believe Build-it is uniquely placed to move to a sustainable business model that meets the needs of unemployed young people, communities and the local workforce. You have all played an important role over the last two years, and we really hope that everyone here will continue to be part of the Build-it team.”

If you want to find out more about Build-it and our plans for the future, contact Head of Build-it James Alexander by email  james.alexander@londonyouth.org.uk  or on 07971 013 228.