Give Young Workers a Chance

Construction Youth Trust Director, Christine Townley responds to Employment Minister Chris Grayling's call to employers in Evening Standard Letters.

"As a charity our role is to raise often low levels of awareness among young people about what construction offers – that it isn’t just about being a brickie – but also about giving them a taste of the technical and professional roles and helping them find work placements and jobs.

Lots of companies go into schools, but this provision needs to be joined up so every young person gets a bite of the cherry. We have a mobile classroom that goes right to the heart of the community: one of the key factors to confront in tackling youth unemployment is young people’s reluctance to travel across London or even to the far side of the borough to seek work, advice or training.  

We have worked very successfully in consortia with the Youth Justice Board and local authorities to get former young offenders into work; we are developing partnerships with organisations to focus on young people leaving care, and are in discussions around doing the equivalent for former soldiers  The key to it all is in recognising the potential of every individual.

So much of the positive work that we do relies on our relationship with industry, but we would like to see the public sector do much more to lever the power of procurement by including stringent local labour and training clauses in their contracts".