Budding Builders - Case study: James

Budding Builders ex-student, James, is now undertaking an "earn whilst you learn" opportunity with Willmott Dixon and talks about his experience to current students


James, a young father of twins, started his working life in the retail sector and went on to work in Traffic Management on UK road networks. Being around the wrong people influences and as a result, getting arrested was a very big turn in his life. When his parents split up, it affected him and his siblings and he felt he needed to find a way to go on with his life and overcome those barriers.

Before joining the course, he had undertaken the first year of a Construction Management course at Westminster University. However, he felt he needed to come back to basics to understand how the industry works from the bottom up and gain confidence.

In July, he attended a Budding Builders course with Willmott Dixon at our training centre in Bermondsey. Very committed to the course, he achieved the Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment and passed the CSCS test 1st time. During a site visit to The Old Admiralty Building, James met Ian Whittaker, Senior Build Manager, at Willmott Dixon. Ian was very impressed with James and asked for his CV.


Whilst on the course, James took part in the Willmott Dixon Interiors employability training course and applied for site management work experience. On completion of the work experience, the team were so impressed with James' diligence and commitment, they offered him the chance to undertake part-time work with Willmott Dixon alongside his university degree. This unique training opportunity has given James the chance to “earn whilst his learn”, offering him crucial training to develop his site management skills with experienced Willmott Dixon Interiors mentors, alongside his degree.


When our new cohort of students joined us in September, James was pleased to welcome them on a site visit to his workplace and inspire them with his journey: from a student at Construction Youth Trust in July, he is now under paid employment at Willmott Dixon. 

“Against all odds I made my life the best I could by learning and keeping in mind my goals and priorities in life.” James

“It’s a real honour to support James' career in Construction. His story is an example of the importance of working collaboratively with fantastic organisations like CYT, to support young people to transform their lives and help them find enriching careers in the construction industry.” - Anna Koukoullis, Community Investment & Apprentice Manager at Willmott Dixon

"James was an excellent student who was fully committed to the Budding Builders course and demonstrated real determination to achieve his goals. With a little guidance James is now on the path to a successful career within the Industry. I wish him the best of luck.” Pearl O'Keeffe, London Trainer at Construction Youth Trust

Everyone at the Trust would like to congratulate James for all his hard work and wish him the very best for the future.

We would also like to thank Willmott Dixon for their continuing support.


Find out more about the Budding Builders programme here


* Name has been changed to protect identity of individual