Getting practical with Central London Forward!

Funded by Central London Forward, the Unlock Construction programme is a series of fun and practical pre-employment courses delivered across Kensington and Chelsea, Camden and Westminster.

Through the courses, local residents are supported to build practical skills, widen their career horizons and discover the huge breadth of opportunity within the construction and built environment sector.

In collaboration with local Youth Offending and Council teams, a diverse range of young people have taken part in three immersive week-long courses so far. Participants have been busy getting involved in hands-on carpentry projects such as building benches, planters and bird boxes. Each course has been supported by a range of relatable industry role models who shared their own experiences and routes into their careers, helping to break down common stereotypes surrounding the industry.

“Building the bench was the best part as it involved teamwork and precision. The course was brilliant from start to finish. Wendy is an authentic, talented individual who has removed the age limit/stigma from my mind and has made me realize there are many opportunities available for black women in construction.”

By facilitating networking opportunities with relatable industry professionals, we support young people to explore career roles, and an industry, that they previously discounted as ‘not for someone like them’. In Camden, our female only cohort, alongside our incredible female industry volunteers, shattered the gender stereotypes of construction careers and it has been wonderful to see participants being inspired by the many different pathways our volunteers have taken into their careers – many of which deviated from traditional university routes.

Alongside the practical elements of the courses, participants also received 1-1 employability support surrounding CV’s and advice about next steps, ensuring that by the end of the week they left equipped with both the tools and the confidence to impress an employer.

We are looking forward to our final collaboration with Westminster Youth Offending Team and look forward to continuing to work with those young people who wish to continue to journey towards a career in construction and the built environment.