Build Yourself

2018 Highly Commended Winner

‘Build Yourself’ helps young unemployment people learn practical skills, gain experience and qualifications needed to work in construction.

Delivered in collaboration with housing association Optivo and charity Fresh Visions, a mixture of taster sessions and certified short courses are run in community hubs over 5-week periods. Learners can choose from wallpapering, tiling, carpentry, plastering and more.

The courses are designed to imitate a construction site, with site induction and health and safety training incorporated. Trainees completing the course also gain a fully stocked toolkit enabling them to put their skills to use at home or starting out as self-employed.

Almost 80 learners have gained Level 1 H&S in Construction, and more than 40 have achieved the full Construction Skills Certification Scheme qualification. Sixty learners have moved into employment or work placements – more than the project’s original target.

Build Yourself actively challenges negative perceptions of young people and promotes community cohesion. Funding allows many of the courses to be carried out on community buildings for free and the students work alongside residents.

Naomi, senior programme coordinator said “Our main aim was to inspire young people to gain new skills and employment and to bring together local people who would normally never mix.”

Student Joe said “My experience has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for me to get employment. All I needed was for someone to believe in me and point me in the right direction.”