Youth Justice Board and Construction Youth Trust

Partnership helps young people lay foundation for construction careers

The Youth Justice Board (YJB) is linking up with the Construction Youth Trust to help young people who have offended find employment and get their lives back on track.

This new partnership is a significant step in the YJB’s campaign to improve the resettlement of young people who have left custody to reduce their chances of reoffending.

The YJB hopes that, by tapping into the Trust’s expert knowledge of the construction industry and nationwide network of employers, they will improve the way local authorities and custodial establishments find work placements for the young people in their care.

The Trust will line up potential employers and support the young people through CV writing workshops, mentoring sessions, work placements, guidance and training.

Initially the Trust will focus within the North West and South West of England, where groups of local authorities and custodial establishments, known as resettlement consortia, are already breaking new ground through their close working.

The Trust have also developed a ‘Toolkit for life’ programme, which helps employers change their attitudes and practices towards recruiting young people who have offended.

Frances Done, Chair of the YJB, said: “It is of vital importance that young people, especially those who have recently left custody, are engaged in education, training or employment. “I welcome our collaborative approach with the Construction Youth Trust. It will help young people develop the life skills and knowledge that they need to contribute to society, build a positive future, and stay away from crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Rod Bennion, Chairman of the Construction Youth Trust, said: "This partnership with the Youth Justice Board will build on our experiences of the last two years in helping some very talented young people, who are coming to the end of their custodial sentences, into training and employment in the Construction Industry."

Case Study:

Tom got into trouble with the law when he was younger and as a result was sentenced to 8 years in custody.  The Construction Youth Trust's Toolkit for Life programme has helped Tom to overcome the barriers he faces in getting into employment and training as a result of this.  Through this project he has received mentoring and training to make him more employable and he has now achieved in getting a full time job.  He is now working for a local construction firm as an admin co-coordinator and does plant and reinstatement audits on site. 

Tom says: "The Construction Youth Trust has given me the chance to get into training and employment which would have otherwise been challenging due to my situation. This has been totally invaluable for my new start in life."

The name of the young person has been changed to protect his identity

Ends

Notes to editors

http://www.constructionyouth.org.uk/?id=1.              The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB) oversees the youth justice system in England and Wales. We work to prevent offending and reoffending by children and young people under the age of 18, and to ensure that custody for them is safe, secure, and addresses the causes of their offending behaviour.

2.              Specifically, we advise the Secretaries of State for Justice and for Children, Schools and Families on the operation of, and standards for, the youth justice system; monitor the performance of the youth justice system; purchase places for, and place, children and young people remanded or sentenced to custody; identify and promote effective practice; make grants to local authorities or other bodies to support the development of effective practice; commission research and publish information.

3.              Please visit the Construction Youth Trust website for more information:www.constructionyouth.org.uk

4.              In the SW a group of local authorities will be working with HMYOI Ashfield, Eastwood Park and Vinney Green. In the NW the resettlement consortia will be made up of a number of the greater Manchester authorities working with HMYOI Hindley.

5.              This new strategic partnership between the YJB and the Construction Youth Trust will run for a two year period between March 2010 and March 2012 and primarily assist young people aged 16-19 on Detention and Training Orders. Education, training and employment are essential componenets of resettlement, building on the Youth Crime Action Plan’s commitment to the continuity of support.  It is anticipated that strategic partnerships such as these, working within consortium arrangements will support the delivery of services to young people through sharing resources and ‘targeting support’ where it is most needed.