Routes Into Construction apprenticeship success with WJ

After completing a two week work experience placement with WJ, Ryan Weston has been offered a road marking apprenticeship.

WJ has been working with Construction Youth Trust on the Routes Into Construction programme to provide work placements for young people based at WJ’s office in Croydon and working at sites throughout London.

Routes Into Construction is a joint project with London Youth for the NEETs programme, a part of the £2m Greater London Joint Initiative programme joint funded by CITB and the Mayor of London’s London Enterprise Panel. The London Enterprise Panel (LEP) is the local enterprise partnership for London. Chaired by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the LEP is the body through which the Mayoralty works with London’s boroughs, business and Transport for London to take a strategic view of the regeneration, employment and skills agenda for London. The LEP is responsible for overseeing the allocation of over £400m of funding to drive jobs and growth in the capital and provides strategic oversight of London’s €1.5 billion European Structural & Investment Funds programme.

Construction Youth Trust and London Youth are working together to provide an insight into career options in the construction sector for young people in the Boroughs of Southwark, Lambeth, Croydon and Wandsworth. The programme brings together a number of construction employers committed to providing practical work experience, enabling local young people to enhance their employment prospects and make more informed career choices. Construction Youth Trust and London Youth are partnering to deliver a training and brokerage model to engage with NEET young people between the ages of 16 – 24 interested in the construction industry. The model will support young people to gain qualifications and undertake a work placement with a construction partner giving them a broader understanding of the industry by offering insights into multiple aspects of the construction industry..

Ryan Weston, an 18 year old unemployed young person from Lambeth, met Paul Taylor from the Trust at London Bridge Jobcentre Plus. Although Ryan had earned a level 1 qualification in construction skills he had struggled to find employment following a period of homelessness.

Ryan signed up to Routes Into Construction, and through the programme spent two weeks with WJ, a UK-wide business that specialises in providing permanent and temporary road markings on the UK’s major and minor roads along with road studs, high friction road surfacing, and asphalt repair. WJ provided Ryan with a comprehensive company induction highlighting the paramount importance of safety. Ryan was immediately enthusiastic about the opportunity and showed aptitude for the job, he understood the requirements necessary to work safely within a community, in proximity to live traffic and the use of hot materials as well as the behaviours expected in a team environment.

WJ were so impressed with Ryan’s commitment and motivation that they have since offered him a road marking apprenticeship. A formal skills and career development path commenced this month with a five day induction course at the WJ training academy in Staffordshire. Ryan will be trained in vehicle checks, banksman reversing, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Working Safely, traffic management, first aid and fire safety. 

Dave Clark Operations Manager for WJ South commented:

 “Our industry has a skills shortage and a real need to develop more apprenticeships so what better way than to support the commendable work and objectives of Construction Youth Trust. We have been impressed with Ryan and he is an encouraging example of what can be achieved”

Equipped with this knowledge, he will then be allocated to an experienced crew and for the next 6 months under the watchful eye of the charge hand, supervisor and contracts manager he will be mentored and nurtured in all aspects of road marking.  Ryan will also be enrolled onto the Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA) industry apprenticeship scheme. This involves a two year structured program of theory and practical training which would provide him with an NVQ Level 2 qualification in road markings.

Christine Townley, Executive Director of Construction Youth Trust commented:

“We are absolutely delighted for Ryan, and we are very grateful to WJ South for giving him this opportunity. We look forward to working with them to continue offering work placements to more young people. With their help we can help to raise awareness of the wide range of careers available in the construction industry.”

Harvey McGrath, vice chairman of the London Enterprise Panel, added:

“I am delighted to hear that Ryan has taken his first steps onto the career ladder by undertaking an apprenticeship. This is exactly the sort of success story that the London Enterprise Panel seeks to facilitate and I look forward to hearing many more stories like Ryan’s.”

For more information on the Routes Into Construction programme, please contact Paul Taylor on 07956 106 387 or email him at