Builders Of The Future

Builders Of The Future

An L&Q Trainee scheme offered to Southwark residents will assist them in their excursion into working life. Patrick Fennelly reports.

As part of a scheme launched in May 2014, London housing association, L&Q and Quadrant Construction have created an opportunity for Southwark residents to take part in a training programme that will potentially lead to a number of unemployed Londoner’s securing valuable apprenticeships.

Apprentice Builder was invited down to the Quebec Quarter construction site to find out more about the company and the trainee scheme and to have a chat with a few of the prospective apprentices.

L&Q own or manage around 70,000 homes in London and aim to provide affordable housing to Southwark residents. The company has invested significantly in the community and invited the locals to become an integral part of its development. Through the six week traineeship the applicants are offered the chance to gain there CSCS cards (which have now become essential on any construction site), acquire important qualifications in Maths and English and contribute to the further improvement of the local community.

An open day was set up to explain to potential trainees, in a little more detail, the opportunity that had been created for them and the impact it could have on their future and anyone who was interested could sign up on the day. They would also learn about the ethos of the housing association and their ideas about “Creating places people want to live” and how they could be a part of that.

The programme begins in the classroom, where the trainees learn skills in various specialist trades including electrical, plumbing and M&E. They will also go on to learn steel fixing and shuttering carpentry as well as the health and safety and logistics of a building site. To give a bit of variety, the roles are rotated so that while working, the trainees get to experience every aspect of the Quebec Quarter.

Tedroy Brown
We caught up with one of the trainees, Tedroy Brown, a 21-year-old from Peckham, who explained “ever since I left school, I wanted to be a plumber” but he was refused an apprenticeship at a college due to a lack of space on the course. “I then had to claim Job Seekers Allowance until I came across the L&Q scheme through Skill Solutions, which has enabled me to carry on pursuing my plans to get into plumbing.” Brown explained how he wanted to gain a fundamental understanding of construction and working with L&Q and Quadrant Construction has given him the chance to learn about various specialist trades.

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