Together we can build lives

Elizabeth Pearson | 02.02.15

Last week we joined outgoing chair Robin Broadhurst on a visit to the new, LandAid-funded Building Lives training centre in Southwark.

This is the community interest company's 13th Academy, which will officially open in March 2015. We were joined on the visit by representatives of LandAid Partners BNP Paribas Real Estate, ECN Live, JLL, Prestbury Investments Holdings, Skanska and Peabody, who provided the space

It was a brilliant visit. Not only did we catch up with the Building Lives team, but we also got to see first hand how the space will be used by young people from the local area. A group of trainees were busy installing dry line partitions while we were there. 

LandAid's grant of £28,740 has been invested in structural work to create a flexible open space in which different trades will be taught.A kitchen, classroom, conference room, computer training room and offices occupy the rest of the building.

The academy's innovative programme draws upon demand from the construction industry for modern building skills such as installing cladding, metal stud partitioning and building concrete formwork. Being an apprentice involves 15 weeks of full time training, followed by a three week work placement, which gives the young people a Level 2 traineeship.

It is anticipated that 60 young people will pass through the academy each year. Every trainee is supported by an officer who sees and supports them on a weekly basis.

The courses have been structured to enable young people to learn a trade without having their benefits cut: a crucial aspect, given that unemployment for 16-24 year olds averages 20% in the borough.

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