A bold new initiative from Construction Youth Trust, with the backing of Land Securities and Bouygues, launched today.
Unveiled at Cardinal Place in Victoria, SW1, the initiative aims to help more than 1,200 young people a year engage with the construction industry.
Funded by Land Securities, Bouygues UK and Ecovert FM, the mobile classroom is the first of its kind in London following the success of three similar mobile classrooms operating across Wales. It will visit youth groups and neighbourhoods across the Capital to deliver construction-related training and careers advice directly to the people who need it most. The initiative will introduce young people to work-related skills training and provide information on the wide range of job opportunities available within the construction industry.
The mobile classroom consists of a van fully equipped with tools and materials to give young people a taste of carpentry, tiling, plumbing, painting and decorating. The classroom can be hired for training sessions by community groups, public sector organisations or companies, such as CityWest Homes which has already signed up. Other contractors are being urged to get behind the scheme by providing funding, access to training and employment opportunities or by providing tools and equipment.
Rodney Bennion, Chairman of Trustees of Construction Youth Trust said: "Travel can be a great barrier to many disadvantaged young people. The great benefit of London Mobile Classroom is that it removes this problem; the classroom is delivered to where the training is needed and in this way allows us to reach out to communities that otherwise would be difficult to engage with. I urge any contractor involved with engaging in the local communities to support the initiative by hiring the mobile classroom's services."
Francis Salway, Chief Executive of Land Securities Group, said: "We're excited to be backing the mobile classroom and hope that partners across the construction industry will get involved - together we can make a real difference to young people's lives and provide the industry's future workforce. We support employment and training projects focused on local needs; the Mobile Classroom does exactly that. It provides training, guidance and inspiration to young people who need it most, right in the heart of their local communities."
Lionel Christolomme, Managing Director of Bouygues UK, said: "We at Bouygues UK and Ecovert FM are proud to be a part of this worthy initiative to aid young people in pursuing their ambitions who may not otherwise receive the opportunity. To support a project like the mobile classroom, that inspires education and learning in such an innovative way, is hugely gratifying whilst falling perfectly in line with our values and Corporate Responsibility aspirations".
The Construction Youth Trust, now in its 50th Year, is committed to exciting and engaging young people about the range of opportunities within the industry, at both craft and professional level, with a focus on communities of disadvantage.