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Building Lives across London & South 

With a pipeline of five academies due to open across the region next year, we reflect on the impact of our programmes...

Our Building Lives Academies are becoming increasingly popular with our customers who want to support their communities with opportunities to upskill.

Across our London & South region, our Academies currently operate across in Hounslow, East Sussex and Merton, with a pipeline of five more academies due to open early 2022.

We are already seeing the positive outcomes of those who attend our six-week long programme, which gives participants the following qualifications and opportunities; Level 1 in Construction Skills, Health and Safety, CSCS Tests and employability skills. Following four weeks of classroom-based learning, the remaining two-weeks of the course sees participants gain a placement on one of our sites with our supply chain and/or Willmott Dixon, depending on the trade or discipline they want to specialise in.

We caught up with two attendees to find out how they’ve been impacted by our Academies:

Steve Ochaya:

“When I started this course, I was unemployed after working ten years in the airport as a ramp agent. I was tired of shift work as it was affecting my family and social life. I decided to embark on a new career in construction, something I had always wanted to do, and had previous experience as a labourer many years ago.

“The Job Centre put me in touch with Nova, who was running the CSCS construction four-week course. I knew this course was perfect for me because it gave me a chance to get my CSCS card included two weeks of work experience on a Willmott Dixon building site. The course was an amazing experience, and I gained valuable work experience, which helped me decide on a preferred trade.

“I passed my CSCS test, and l also met many people from different backgrounds and cultures, which will be helpful in the construction industry. Since finishing the course, I am over the moon to have secured a job as a trainee dryliner! I am truly grateful for having the opportunity to go on the course and recommend it to anyone.”

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Agnieszka Zabska-Losiewicz, who was recently employed on our Frank Towell Court as an Assistant Build Manager:

"As a civil engineer with almost 16 years of experience in my profession, I moved from Poland to England in 2016, married my husband and became a mum. Leaving my country required me to start again in many ways as I built a life in England.

“Over the past few years, I have concentrated on bringing up my son and learning English. Over this period, my goal has been to improve my English and pursue my career as an engineer again.

“When I received the opportunity to enrol on the Building Lives Programme, I felt like I had a great chance to achieve my goals. I was worried about my English, and I knew that I would have to study hard.

“Now, at the end of the course, I can say I am really happy. I struggled with some technical language, but I understood more than I expected and learned so much.

“This programme provided me with the confidence to take the next step and achieve my goal of returning to my profession.”

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Our six-week long programme gives participants qualifications in Construction Skills, Health and Safety and CSCS tests, alongside work experience