In partnership with CLF Construction Careers, Construction Youth Trust ran a fun-filled five-day DIY course at The Curve community centre in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and at Kings Cross Construction Skills Centre in Camden.
The aim of the partnership is to introduce local young people not currently in education, employment or training to construction careers through a practical project that benefits their community. For young people who have little to no experience of the modern construction and built environment industry, it can be easy for them to discount the sector as not for them and miss the many opportunities open to them. By embedding the project within their local community, in a fun and relaxed way on their turf, the partnership aims to gently widen young people’s career horizons and introduce them to local opportunities within the construction and built environment sector.
The first courses in the boroughs welcomed a range of local young people, also working with the Camden Youth Offending Team offering the course as part of their reparation programme, and saw participants collaboratively working together to build new benches and a set of bird houses. The idea was to construct items that would benefit a wide range of local residents. At The Curve community centre the bench is now in place, allowing anyone to enjoy the last of the summer sun, with the bird houses being donated to local primary schools to support nature studies.
Throughout the courses, the participants were encouraged to explore their teamwork skills, taking the time to find out about their fellow course mates and how their skills might complement each other to complete their practical projects. The participants were encouraged to recognise and celebrate their accomplishments across the five days, whether that be arriving on time at the centre or completing a practical project to a high standard. A major aspect of the programme was giving the young people the space to reflect positively upon themselves and their work, acknowledging their individual skill sets. It can be hard for a young person to picture themselves in any kind of career if they don’t think they have the ability to achieve it.
About the partnership, Kharima Dada Senior Programme Manager Construction Careers, said: “As a programme we have a number of aims but the one that is key to all aspects of our work, is that we positively promote the construction industry as a viable and rewarding sector. Through our partnered work with Construction Youth Trust, who have expertise within the sector and engaging young people, we felt confident that we could facilitate sector exposure in an innovative way and raise aspirations of participants on the programme.”
Following the end of the programme the participants were referred across to Construction Careers for employability skills development. Construction Careers is a Central London Forward programme which is funded by eight London boroughs. Following their support from Construction Careers, Construction Youth Trust hopes to welcome the young people onto one of their longer courses helping them gain a CSCS card and supporting them into their desired industry careers.