Lambeth Made Contractors' Challenge Success!

07/09/2022 News

Lambeth residents join our month-long programme, getting stuck into a range of practical activities, site visits, employability sessions - and most importantly becoming work ready!


Following the success of the Lambeth Developers’ Challenge last year, generously funded by Lambeth Council, this year we set out to plan a programme which reached an even greater number of young people and involved even more Lambeth-based employers.

We kicked off the Lambeth Made Contractors’ Challenge on the 15th of August, funded by Lambeth Made. It was a fantastic start to the programme with a high participant turnout. So far, we have welcomed 31 young people to take part in a suite of exciting activities to help them take their first steps to enter the construction and built environment industry. Young people have been introduced to a range of trades, attended multiple site visits, and met with an ever-growing pool of enthusiastic volunteers from organisations, including Claritas, Morgan Sindall,  Community Works, HB Reavis, RFL Facades LTD, MTVH, Countryside, Berkeley Homes, Southbank Colleges, Wates Group, Kind & Co & Sarah Graham Careers.

Taking part in this programme has been great, I feel this is an industry that can give me a second chance. I feel like I am not stuck anymore, and I have a clear path ahead of me. I look forward to starting my career in the construction industry! – Student.

The opportunity to network with employers and meet relatable industry role models can have an incredible impact on the career aspirations and work-confidence of young people. Claritas Group kicked off the challenge, giving an informative insight into industry careers. A current apprentice was also on hand to provide per-to-peer experience of their early career journey.  

The young people also had the opportunity to head over to HB Reavis HQ where they took part in an incredible session to help build soft skills and self-confidence. The volunteers were very encouraging, and it was wonderful to see the young people coming out of their shell and contributing to the session.

We thoroughly enjoyed hosting Construction Youth Trust participants over the last couple of weeks, both on site and at our head office, where we held ‘workplace confidence’ workshops and introduced participants to our One Waterloo site. They had the opportunity to tour the site pre-demolition, take on a design challenge and experience using a VR set with the final images of the completed design. We found the participants to be engaged, curious and willing to step outside of their comfort zones to learn new things. We really appreciate the work that Construction Youth Trust has done to support the coordination of these activities and to remove the barriers faced when engaging with young people.” - Tania Jacobs, Senior Social Impact and Inclusion Manager at HB Reavis.

In week two, participants got the chance to try five different practical trades, including bricklaying, plumbing, carpentry, plastering and painting and decorating alongside volunteers from Community Works. The volunteers shared their industry knowledge and led the young people through a range of practical tasks. By the end of the session, as well developing a range of transferable skills, the young people left with a clearer idea of their future career path and feeling motivated to enter the construction industry!

Across the challenge the participants have had a number of opportunities to visit local sites and see what life working on site is really like. We were delighted for the young people to meet volunteers from Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing and explore the Kind & Co Clapham Park site as well as attending the Mcaleer & Rushe site to meet volunteers from RFL Facades LTD.Learning about hidden careers and areas of construction that often get overlooked is incredibly important for our young people to discover how diverse the industry really is and to spark their career interest!

We are also offering bespoke employability support, including the opportunity to attend 1-2-1 career development sessions, focusing on their individual needs and creating a tailored plan for their future success. The participants have been hugely enthusiastic about exploring their possible next steps and we look forward to working with the young person beyond the challenge as they continue on their journey into employment.

The young people really enjoyed trying out the different practical activities and developing basic skills. Not only did it improve their confidence but through the help of the great volunteers they were able to see themselves working in the construction industry. - Georgia Spiteri, Schools and Programme Coordinator, Construction Youth Trust.

Students have been able to gain so much from the challenge already, with many of the employers already offering work experience and apprenticeship opportunities. A big thank you to all the fantastic volunteers for really making the challenge such a success. The young people have been able to take part in some fantastic opportunities, as well as build friendships and become a brilliant team!