Twenty young people recruited across London participated in a collaborative construction learning project supported by The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, and led by Construction Youth Trust.
The core aim of the Lighthouse Learners Programme was to raise awareness of and develop career opportunities whilst supporting the young people to overcome barriers to access employment, training or apprenticeships in the industry.
Mr Bill Hill, Chief Executive of the Lighthouse Charity said “If just one of these young people makes it through the work experience and ultimately gets a job in construction, the social return on investment is £130,000. This is the calculation the government has made on the long term cost of somebody becoming permanently unemployed. If we can give just one of these young people a start in a trade you cannot put a price on how we have changed their lives.”
Canary Wharf Contractors hosted a fantastic site visit and work placement opportunities at the Shell Development site in Waterloo; students were indeed inspired and excited to see the construction industry at its finest. All of them went on to successfully achieve an accredited Health and Safety in a Construction Environment qualification, 50% have passed their CSCS test to date and we’re delighted to say that seven have progressed into full time employment!
One of the seven is Kayode Badejo who was referred to us by HMP Cookham Wood. An outstanding student with 100% attendance and punctuality, he was super excited to be selected for the Canary Wharf Contractors work placement opportunity with a view to finding out exactly which area of construction he’d like to pursue as a career. Kayode was buddied up with Brett Lewis, Senior Project Manager for Swift Brickwork. After a two week work placement, Brett recorded Kai’s ability to focus, use his initiative and follow instruction as excellent. He also recorded his work ethic and attitude as outstanding, saying “Kai is a good lad and Swift are going to offer him permanent employment.” Kayode commenced full time employment with Swift on Monday, July 31st.
Kayode said “I told Brett I’d been in trouble and that I’d been away for a while. I’m so grateful to have had this chance. I can’t thank everyone, Pearl and everyone, enough at Construction Youth Trust for believing in me even though I’d been in trouble. They’re so supportive and taught me so much. They showed me how I could change everything for myself. I was a bit nervous at first about going on site but then everyone was so welcoming. Brett is great and I felt really good after the first day. My best bit was getting the news on the last day that Swift Brickwork were taking me on full time! The worst bit was getting up at six o’clock in the morning but I’m used to it now and it’s really worth it.”
Angie Ward, Employment & Training Coordinator for Canary Wharf Contractors said "It was great to see that great big smile on Kayode’s face. I am so pleased for him.”
This kind of result is only achievable with the tangible support of the construction industry. We wish to extend a very special thank you to Canary Wharf Contractors, Laing O’Rourke, Swift Brickwork, Alandale Logistics and Kilnbridge for site visits and work placements, Randstad CPE for helping with CV and employability advice and Work and Wear for providing a full PPE kit for the learners.