A Fond Farewell to Christine Townley

After over 10 years leading the Trust, Christine is moving on.

It goes without saying that Christine Townley has made an enormous contribution to the construction industry and the wider community. After 12 years at the Trust, ten as Executive Director, she has steered the organisation from relative obscurity to one of the leading charities in the construction sector. Her passion for providing young people with the best possible chances in life has helped the Trust pioneer best practice in connecting the construction industry with its local community and with young people, in particular.  As Christine likes to say helping to ‘wash the window’ between construction and the community.

Christine’s early career as a chartered civil engineer saw her work on the Thames Tidal Barrier. She later worked at the Basic Skills Agency helping to provide adult education to those most in need. Combining her skills and experience in construction along with her passion for communities and learning, she joined Construction Youth Trust in 2004.

Throughout her time at the Trust, Christine has been a champion of equality, diversity and social mobility; she has not only been successful in supporting huge numbers of young people facing disadvantage to access construction related professions and trades careers, but also helped to change the ways in which the industry works to inspire and support new talent and engage with the communities in which it works.

Passionate about offering young people skills and creating secure and sustainable pathways to work, Christine worked closely with industry partners to lead the development of the Trust’s two major award-winning engagement and career-pathway programmes:

Budding Brunels: recognised by the industry as a leading programme of engagement, Budding Brunels is designed to introduce young people to the construction industry in an exciting and dynamic way and connect them with the wide range of real opportunities available to them to pursue a career in the sector.

Budding Builders: innovative accredited training which offers hard to reach young people the opportunity to earn the Level 1 Award in Health & Safety in a Construction Environment as well as the chance to achieve their CSCS card, alongside basic practical construction skills.  Each young person is offered individual support to help them take their next step and progress on the pathway into work.

Having been told at school that “construction isn’t for girls”, the challenge of overcoming gender bias in construction is one of Christine’s passions. She has led the Trust’s nationally recognised #notjustforboys campaign and the charity’s efforts to bring about change in the sector in terms of how it reaches out to and supports a more diverse work force.

Deeply committed to the role of the third sector in bridging industry and communities, Christine led the Trust’s work inspiring and enabling young people; helping them to overcome barriers; providing them with a pathway into work and in doing so giving them a brighter future.

Recognised by all as a formidable force to be reckoned with, Christine brought passion and positive energy to her role, which not only fostered respect and friendship within the Trust but amongst the wider construction industry.

After so many years at the helm, we hope that Christine enjoys a well-deserved rest as well as many new adventures to come, and we will miss her dearly. However, we know that Christine will continue to play an active role in  championing opportunities for young people and the work of the Trust, so we are sure that you will see her soon.

Thank you for all you have done, Christine.