Youth unemployment tackled in Lambeth as new construction project launched


The Build-it programme will help 1,500 young people.


By Kojo Amofa

Young people disengaged from education and employment have the opportunity to gain skills, experience and employment in the construction industry in the borough of Lambeth.

Through the Build-it programme, 1,500 young people will receive opportunities to repair, re-furbish and renovate social-housing and derelict properties across the borough, over a two-year period.

London Youth –  working in partnership with Cospa and supported by Lambeth Council and Lambeth College – were awarded £1.7m to deliver the project by The Big Lottery Fund.

Delivery Officer for Build-it, Roxi Jahanshahi, said: “The main thing we don’t want is young people – un-employed, un-skilled and isolated – without a support-structure helping them in the right direction.

“The key for me is that young people who take part in the programme receive vital on-the-job work-experience helping them transition into full-time employment.”

Projects like Build-it are important in tackling one of the biggest issues facing youth unemployment.

London Youth is a charity with a network of over 400 diverse community youth organisations in neighbourhoods across the capital and are responsible for the overall management, monitoring, co-ordination and delivery of the project.

Cospa’s role in Build-it includes developing the original concept they specialise in creating, delivering and enhancing social action projects by identifying and enabling cross-sector partnership and funding opportunities.

The project aims to create a proven model of good practice that can ultimately be shared and rolled out with local partners in regions and boroughs across the UK.

The pilot-project was featured in the first episode of Channel 4’s documentary series, The Secret Millions, in which young people worked with architect George Clarke to renovate an empty house.

“Occasionally participants can’t go straight into full-time employment, so we try to continue their progression – weather it’s through apprenticeships or further training,” added Roxi.

“There are so many youngsters full of potential and we hope to maximise this potential and their future prospects.”

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Photo courtesy of sarflondondunc, with thanks.

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