Construction Youth Trust launched a bold new initiative last week to help young people in some of the most deprived areas of Manchester and the North West engage with the construction industry and find employment.
The Mobile Classroom was unveiled at Manchester Town Hall with speakers including Sarah Barrett from Mears Group, and Dave Carty from Manchester City Council. Guests from the construction industry across the North West were able see the new Mobile Classroom van and witness the classroom in action with two young people taking part in a lesson in tiling.
The Classroom will visit schools and community centres across Manchester delivering taster sessions to young people in construction-related skills, from carpentry, tiling and plumbing, to painting and decorating. It introduces construction to young people who may not have been exposed to work-related skills training before and unique chance to find out about the wide range of job opportunities available within the industry.
The Mobile Classroom is a van fully equipped with the necessary tools and materials to give young people an introduction to construction. It will be driven by a qualified trainer who as well as delivering craft training, will also provide advice on industry awareness and the skills necessary to succeed in the workplace.
The classroom can be hired for training sessions by community groups, public sector organisations, housing associations or companies.
Construction Youth Trust has four similar mobile classrooms operating across Wales and London which have already proved to be a huge success. Each unit can provide taster sessions for around 1,200 people a year and many young people have gone on to become apprentices and then entered into full-time employment in the industry.
Rod Bennion, Chair of Construction Youth Trust comments: “Travel can be a great barrier to learning for many disadvantaged young people. The great benefit of the Manchester 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 contractors to support the initiative by hiring the mobile classroom’s services. By working in partnership we can reveal hidden talent and link contractors with a budding new workforce.”
The Mobile Classroom has been funded by donations from CIOB, CSCS, Mears Group, WO Street Charitable Foundation, Equitable Charitable Trust, Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund, The Hedley Foundation, Steel Charitable Foundation, and others.