Building Lives Close To Shutting Down

The construction training charity ‘Building Lives’ is to close down after it was unable to establish a sustainable stream of revenue.

Trustees of the charity made the decision to cease its operations, with all 16 of its staff members being handed redundancy notices ahead of its final working day on June 30 2016.

The organisation said in its statement that the decision was not taken without careful consideration and that it is extremely disappointed not to be able to carry on with its model, especially given the skills crisis in London.

The statement also said that further disappointment is caused by the superb value for money that the group provided for the UK tax payer.

Steve Rawlings, founder of Lakehouse, started the Building Lives charity in 2010.

For a young person to be put through a ‘traineeship’ with Building Lives the cost is £4,000 and an average of eight of 10 people on its ‘Careership’ training programmes have then gone on to apprenticeships or jobs in the industry.

Sian Workman, Managing Director of Building Lives, said that Building Lives required £900,000 to continue operating for just another year to deliver 380 ‘Careership’ programmes in four London council estate based training academies.

Ms Workman added that in comparison with money spent on no guaranteed job outcomes, the amount is a mere drop in the ocean.

She said that the Careership programme led to real jobs in the construction industry, even though it did not fit in with the current funding criteria of the Government.

She expressed her deep disappointment that they have been forced to shut down a scheme that reduced skill shortages, unemployment and led people into jobs in the construction industry – outcomes that were beneficial to all.

However, Ms Workman concluded that she was proud of the accomplishments of Building Lives since its opening six years ago, in particular its different approach and ability to support young people’s first ventures into the industry.


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