First Youthbuild learners graduate

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A group of 10 Young people taking part in the first YouthBuild construction programme in Thamsesmead have been awarded their graduation certificates by local Erith and Thamesmead MP, Abena Oppong-Asare in a ceremony at the Information Hub.

The four-week pilot scheme, which the students participated in, is designed to help young people complete their education, learn industry led construction skills, develop leadership abilities and contribute to their communities.

We have been working in partnership with YouthBuild Ventures UK to deliver the initiative.

Abena Oppong-Asare MP said: "It was wonderful to hear from the students about their experiences on the programme and how it has enriched their lives.

“What is interesting about this programme is that young people are given the opportunity to receive on the job training in their local area, and input into the regeneration of their own neighbourhoods.”

Peabody’s Economic Inclusion manager, Christofi Christou, said: “Thamesmead is London’s largest regeneration project and the YouthBuild programme gives local youngsters the opportunity to be part of that, make an important contribution to the local community and learn skills that will support their careers.”

Shenaaz Chenia – CEO, YouthBuild Ventures UK, added: “The regeneration of Thamesmead provides an exciting employment pipeline for the youth in the area. YouthBuild is pleased to support Peabody’s ambitions to improve the economic outcomes and social mobility of its young residents. Our role is to support and prepare them to access the opportunities as they become available.”

As part of the programme contractor Durkan, who is building hundreds of homes for us in Southmere, supported participants by providing them with a site induction as well as attending a mock interview day.

Graduate Ben Golding, 18, said: “The experience at Durkan taught us how many opportunities are available in the construction industry and globally. The Site Director inspired us to be part of a forever growing industry, and potentially even the spot we visited. Thamesmead is close to my heart, I would want nothing more than to be part of its growth.”

The construction training section gives participants a marketable set of skills that prepares them for employment and delivers construction projects in the local community, giving students a sense of personal accomplishment and value.

As well as equipping young people with a multi-skills construction qualification, Construction Skills Certification Scheme card, functional skills, employability and life skills the programme offers one-to-one counselling.

A major aspect of the training is the pastoral support the young people receive, helping them sustain the opportunity they are undertaking and includes additional training around budget management, independent living, prioritising bills and managing finances effectively.

Following the success of the programme, we are now looking to run the new initiative year-round. Anyone interested in talking part in the YouthBuild programme should contact our Socio-Economic Team on 0203 828 4950 or check the Thamesmead Portal for training opportunities www.thamesmeadnow.org.uk/portal/