A celebration of our partnership with the Kent Youth Justice team!

The Investing in Rehabilitation programme is a collaboration between Construction Youth Trust, Kent Youth Justice and KCC Early Help, funded by Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust.

On the programme, participants have the opportunity to positively engage in their community as well as developing their practical and employability skills which are essential for pursuing construction careers.

“He has done nothing but flourish—we’ll be forever grateful” – parent of a young man on the programme

The programme begins with a week-long practical project which sees participants engage positively in their community, network with industry employers and begin to develop some practical construction skills.

Often the young people that the Kent Youth Justice team work with can feel unsure of their next steps. Having the chance to engage in a practical project can be a great way of reengaging young people with their futures through the satisfaction of a job well done, and getting them excited about career opportunities they might not have considered before.

A vital part of the practical project is introducing young people to local employers. Not only can our industry volunteers act as relatable role models for participants, inspiring them about their own skills and abilities, but these interactions also give our young people the opportunity to build professional networks that they would not have had access to otherwise.

“It helps the community but it also helps young people to understand what they could be doing as a job, and also keeping them in touch with employers. Now we can give them a reference for the work that they’ve done.” - industry volunteer on the practical project

Following the project, young people receive personalised advice, guidance and employability support. This includes working with participants on achieving their Level 1 Health & Safety and CSCS card qualifications, as well as sustained 1-1 support surrounding CV writing and job applications.

The first cohort of the Investing in Rehabilitation programme completed their practical project in November 2019, and we are thrilled to report that five of the eight participants who completed the project have now made successful transitions into the world of work, with a sixth young man lined up to enrol on our next online L1 Health & Safety and CSCS card course!

We caught up with Declan Henry from the Kent Youth Justice team about one of the young participants. Felix* is now working as a labourer for a local construction company. He has had the chance to develop a fantastic range of skills, from plastering to bricklaying to roofing, and this has transformed his confidence in his own abilities. Felix’s hard work has paid off, and he has impressed his new employers so much with his passion and work ethic that he has been offered an apprenticeship with a sister firm!

“I saw Felix* last week and I must say he is going from strength to strength. He has been in full-time employment now for nearly 6 months. The change in him is unbelievable. He now has much greater self-confidence and self-respect. He is earning a good wage but is not wasting his money. He buys nice clothes and things and gives some money to his mother every week for his upkeep. So really – everything is going really well for him. He is definitely a big success story of Construction Youth Trust.” – Declan Henry, case worker on the Kent Youth Justice team

At the core of the Trust’s mission is to facilitate opportunities for those facing the biggest barriers to employment. Given the opportunity to build their skills and work towards a positive goal, these young men have flourished and we are looking forward to keeping up-to-date with their progress!

*Name changed for anonymity