Saint-Gobain has spearheaded an innovative new scheme to help tackle the construction skills gap, meet industry demand and provide work for disengaged young people, working closely with partners from the public and charity sector.
The Future Place Academy is a community training facility in Lewisham set up by Saint-Gobain, in partnership with Barnardo’s, to provide construction training and support into sustained employment in the industry. Future Place’s first project is already underway delivering dry lining training to young adults not in employment, education or training (NEET’s) with a new cohort of 30 young people recently enrolled.
Barnardo’s is Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland’s charity partner and the two organisations have now partnered together with this scheme to make a tangible difference by providing care leavers with support and opportunities. The dry-lining training also extends to care leavers who are supported as part of Barnardo’s Building Hope programme. For these care leavers Barnardo’s provides tailored one to one support in the centre, as well as a supported lodging service helping young people into sustained independence and independent living.
The technical skills element is delivered by Barking and Dagenham College and once the students’ graduate they are introduced to potential employers through Saint-Gobain’s vast customer network. Saint-Gobain has consulted intensively with our customers and industry bodies to ensure that the training that is provided is fit for purpose and that the students will be ready to take on the in-demand jobs.
Shenaaz Chenia, Director of Industry and Community Training for Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland, said, “This is a demand driven training programme to meet the industry’s skills need whilst at the same time enhancing local prosperity by ensuring people in the community can access job opportunities. It’s really a win-win model.
‘Feedback from customers has been impressive so far and we’re hoping to roll out this model further across London, and eventually the UK.”
This model has been recognised as a pioneering solution and a great example of private business working to enhance the lives of care leavers. The project will be showcased as a case study at the launch of the government’s Care Leaver’s Covenant later this month.
The project has been made possible by the collaboration and innovative partnership working of private, public and charity organisations including Saint-Gobain, Barnardo’s, Barking and Dagenham College and Phoenix Housing.
Further information on the scheme, including how to get involved, can be found here.