Construction Youth Trust Win Share of NatWest’s £2.5m Skills Fund

Construction Youth Trust's Budding Builders programme is one of the six London community projects that will receive a share of NatWest’s £2.5m Skills & Opportunities Fund. 

Last year, NatWest gave away £2.5m in grants to community projects across the UK and Ireland through their newly launched Skills & Opportunities Fund and are set to do the same this year. Across the nation, a total of 911 organisations put forward applications for the first round of funding this year; 90 of these were short-listed to go to a public vote, and over 30,000 votes have now contributed to deciding the final 44 winners.

Out of the 15 extremely worthy initiatives shortlisted to receive funding in London, Construction Youth Trust was one of the successful final six.

Our mission at Construction Youth Trust is to enable young people who have faced difficulties in their lives or come from communities that face some sort of disadvantage to access training and employment opportunities in the construction sector. This funding will enable us to develop new courses in bricklaying, plastering, plumbing, painting, tiling and carpentry to be delivered from our Bermondsey Construction Training Centre. The courses will see two cohorts of eight young people attending nine days of full time training that will allow them to train on practical construction skills and gain real construction work experience.  Students will gain qualifications up to level 1 accredited by Open College Network in each unit, with the most essential requirement being the health and safety level 1 accreditation equivalent to the CSCS card, the H&S standard for work in construction. 

Phil Northey, Chair of NatWest’s London Regional Board, said: “I am very proud that NatWest is supporting such a broad range of inspirational and creative programmes through the Skills & Opportunities Fund. In London alone, the organisations we’ve funded have made a positive difference to more than 1,100 disadvantaged and at risk people through 64 new business start-ups, 253 new jobs created and 243 professional qualifications achieved. As well as providing this important funding we will also be looking to partner with each winner through mentoring, volunteering and advice.”

Thom Kenrick, Head of Community Programmes at NatWest is keen to see this year’s funding in action: “It is always inspiring to see the difference that the Skills & Opportunities Fund is making to people’s lives across the UK & Ireland.  We’re really looking forward to working with this year’s winners as they help more people from disadvantaged communities to gain qualifications, find work or start a business.”

Christine Townley, Executive Director, Construction Youth Trust: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured such great support from NatWest and look forward with excitement to the partnership. The funding will go a long way in helping us to make a difference to young people’s lives.”