Bridging the Youth Unemployment Gap

Mears Group has appointed four young apprentices to work on their recently acquired Family Mosaic contract, following a successful joint venture between Islington Youth Offending Team (YOT) and Construction Youth Trust.

Commissioned by the Education, Training and Employment team within Islington's YOT, Construction Youth Trust developed a two-week construction-specific training programme. Aimed at bridging the transition between unemployment and full-time work, the programme delivered by London Construction Training taught practical construction work, soft skills training and health and safety awareness.

The success of the course highlights the ongoing need for more accessible, vocational training for young people in areas of high social and economic deprivation - areas where companies regularly encounter difficulty in recruiting work-ready young people who have job-related skills. The employment of the four young people at the end of the programme cements Construction Youth Trust's goal of linking communities with employers.

Peter Buzwell, Manager at Mears, who interviewed and appointed the successful apprentices, commented: "Mears are always keen to support young people getting into the workplace, and the work that the CYT and Islington YOT have done to prepare these apprentices for the workplace made a real difference in our decision making.  We pride ourselves on employing local people to carry out our contracts and I am excited to be able to offer these young men apprenticeships within Mears working with Family Mosaic.  They have already proved themselves to be dedicated, enthusiastic and punctual and I look forward to seeing them develop".

Construction Youth Trust Director, Christine Townley added: "Many congratulations to the new apprentices. We are delighted that Mears Group have worked in partnership with the Trust and offered this fantastic opportunity, it has revealed real hidden talent that can often be overlooked. We are so pleased that the Trust's ability to broker between community and employer continues to make a real impact on young people's lives."

Islington Council's executive member for children and young people, Cllr Richard Watts, said: "The council's Youth Offending Team and Construction Youth Trust have worked hard to prepare these young people for the world of work and create these opportunities with Mears Group.  I know they are planning another similar programme later this year. "Well done to the four Islington apprentices - they now have a fantastic chance to build on their skills and gain further qualifications through their employment with Mears."