Helping construction workers of the future get their feet on the employment ladder

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By Nicola Sinclair, head of B&CE Charitable Trust

Much is made of the country’s skills shortage, but can more be done to resolve this very real problem?

According to the charity Construction Youth Trust, 100,000 further education students study on a construction-based course each year but just two in five of these, or an estimated 40,000, find employment within the industry.

B&CE Charitable Trust has supported the industry and individuals working within it for more than three decades, and are committed to supporting training and excellence in an industry that is central to improving the fabric of the nation.

Among our many initiatives is the Mowlem Award, which is a £20,000 award given to an organisation that demonstrates a commitment to training and health and safety within construction.

Construction Youth Trust won the award in 2021, impressing judges with its commitment to using the money towards its new Further Education Transitions Programme. This includes Health and Safety in a Construction Environment training, and the opportunity for up to 100 young trainees to engage with construction industry professionals and receive employability support from employers, helping them on their road to employment.

One of those to benefit from this support is 17-year-old Malachi, who first came into contact with Construction Youth Trust during his first year at Lewisham College in South London. He joined the charity’s mentoring programme, where he had the opportunity to work with a range of industry professionals. He came away with valuable advice, not only about the world of work, but about specific career routes into the construction industry.

Malachi also took part in several employability sessions and now says he has a wider understanding of what is expected on CVs and job applications, and earlier this year he successfully achieved his Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment. He has also completed a Level 1 Multi-trade Diploma, passed his CSCS test and is now preparing to study Level 2 electrical installation.

Malachi is just one example of hundreds of people to have directly benefited from the Mowlem Award, which has been running in its current form for seven years. The team at the Charitable Trust feel privileged to be able to support these amazing projects, which make a genuine difference to people trying to get on the first rung of the career ladder in this most exciting of industries.

At the Charitable Trust, we are very proud of how we have forged strong working relationships with our winners, as well as some of the entrants who missed out on the top award over the years. Our journey with the winners only really begins once we have awarded them the money and it’s due to these relationships that we’re able to see how Charitable Trust-funded projects develop in real time. Our team provides a genuine human contact that is perhaps beyond the reach of other organisations, meaning that we are fully committed to the future success of any scheme we help fund.

We’re really very excited to announce that we are now accepting entries to the Mowlem Award 2022 and are looking forward to learning about the many exciting initiatives that are out there.

Entering the award couldn’t be simpler – applications for the award must come from UK-based non-government training organisations and projects must also fulfil the following criteria:

  • Make a significant difference to the construction industry
  • Benefit a minimum of 50 individuals within the year
  • Provide a recognised construction industry accreditation
  • Offer training that’s linked to an employer or placement to gain hands-on experience and the ability to find future employment.

The deadline for applications is 5pm, Thursday, 20 October. Find out more and apply here.

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