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Building Lives at the Employment Academy

The Employment Academy sign goes up
Building Lives technician Dwight is pictured putting a new sign up at the entrance to the Employment Academy

14 October 2013

One of the first services to move into the Thames Reach Employment Academy is celebrating a successful first year delivering training from the building in Camberwell.

Building Lives is a social enterprise offering training in construction skills to teenagers from local schools and academies.

It is targeted at 14-16 year-olds whose strengths are less academic and more practical and enables these teenagers to get accredited qualifications in construction and prepare them for a career in the construction industry.

Trainees spend up to four days a week at the Building Lives workshops at the Employment Academy and working on small community projects in the local area to underpin the knowledge they have learnt during training. Some of the trainees recently put up a series of new signs at the Employment Academy.

Leroy Joseph, who manages the Building Lives training at the Employment Academy said: “Things are going from strength to strength. We’ve just taken on a new group of year 11 students who are working towards getting their joinery and Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) certificates that will enable them to work on site.

They’re a good group and they’ve already made real progress. When they first started some of them were easily distracted, but after only four weeks they’re getting their heads down and focusing on the work.”

Marlon Sessing, aged 15, from Brixton is a trainee on the course, he said: “I’m enjoying the work. It’s challenging but I like a challenge. I’m interested in becoming a plumber or carpenter and working towards my apprenticeship will help me achieve that.”  

Building Lives also scooped an award at the recent Third Sector Excellence Awards earlier this month. The Social Enterprise were announced as winners in the Best Enterprise category of the prestigious awards that aim to celebrate the work of registered charities, not-for-profits, social enterprises and campaigning groups.