Lambeth Developer's Challenge: A 4 week programme to kick start Lambeth-based young people’s careers on-site!

Over the month of July, Construction Youth Trust and London Borough of Lambeth collaborated to develop and deliver the first ever Lambeth Developer's Challenge.

Aimed at Lambeth young people aged 16 -18 currently not in education, employment or further training and searching for their best next step, the Developer's Challenge is a diverse programme of activities with the ultimate aim of supporting a young person to develop their employability skills, raise their aspirations and discover a rewarding career in the construction and built environment sector.

“I'd like to praise the professionalism, dedication and patience of the Construction Youth Trust team supporting my son. Having patience with young people is exactly what is needed in order to make positive change for the youth.” Proud mum of Developer's Challenge participant

9 young Lambeth residents took part in the pilot programme, which was designed to be able to support the unique aspirations, needs and strengths of each young person. The ability to devise their own bespoke timetable by selecting sessions from a menu of practical construction tasters, real life site visits and employability support allowed the young people to engage in the programme at a pace best suited to them and the ability to choose the sessions of most interest and value.

Another major aim of the Developer's Challenge was to connect leading construction employers, currently working in the local area, with a pipeline of diverse young local talent. Our employer partners facilitated practical sessions in site-like conditions providing our young people with a real world of work experience. Industry partners such as Morgan Sindall Construction, Wates, ISG, Berkeley St Edward, Metropolitan Thames Valley, Hill Group and Farrans offered their indispensable support through site tours, employability guidance and practical workshops. For many of the young people, these experiences were their first taste of a career in construction and it was fantastic to see how their confidence and motivation grew each session with a number of the young people now inspired to pursue construction based apprenticeships!

‘The positive feedback we received from participants demonstrates the importance of providing work experience to local young people. This varied programme gave the opportunity to experience first-hand the careers in the sector and understand apprenticeship opportunities with Berkeley Group. The programme was testimony to its success, as many participants were offered work experience and apprenticeships with the hosting companies, which Berkeley St Edward were keen to endorse.’ Saira Mirza, Employment and Skills Advisor, Berkeley St Edward

Following an action packed 4-weeks, the programme graduation took place at the Oval Cricket Ground attend by Councillor Ben Kind and very generously sponsored by Buckingham Group. The young people’s commitment over the month was exemplary and we are so proud of the progress they have made in their skill sets and attitudes. So far 1 young person has begun a 4-week work experience placement exploring quantity surveying with ISG whilst 2 other young people have been offered work experience in trade roles at the company. Another 4 young people have been invited to apply for bricklaying apprenticeship roles with Berkeley Homes. Construction Youth Trust will be continuing to work with the young people to help them secure their best next step and look forward to sharing their future career successes with you very soon!