Several major contractors have backed a new campaign seeking to raise £400,000 to secure the short-term future of training charity Building Lives.
Canary Wharf Contractors Fund, Laing O’Rourke and Mouchel are among the firms to have pledged money to the #loveLIVES campaign, organised by NCE sister title Construction News, the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and KPMG.
It is seeking to raise £400,000 over 50 days to secure the short-term future of the training organisation - which has been threatened with closure due to a short-term funding shortfall.
The multi award-winning London-based social enterprise helps secure work in the construction industry for young people, often from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The charity came under threat last month as it is no longer within scope to receive Construction Industry Training Board levy funding.
Its closure would jeopardise the careers of nearly 200 young people who are waiting to start apprenticeships, and see 37 staff lose their jobs.
Laing O’Rourke chief executive Anna Stewart said that organisations like Building Lives were “fundamental to the future growth of our industry” and urged others businesses to back the campaign.
This week, Construction News spoke to Tom Lawler, a former Building Lives apprentice now working at Mears, providing repair and maintenance services to Sutton Housing Partnership tenants in south London.
He spoke of how Building Lives changed his life and said it would be “ridiculous” if future apprentices lost out on the chance he had been given.
“Building Lives changed my whole life and outlook around,” said Lawler. “Before that, I was not going [to] good places. I spent years just selling drugs.
“I’ve got two kids and, before I started with Building Lives, I wouldn’t have been a very good role model to my kids, doing what I was doing.
“Now, I’m out working full-time. Things are completely different, my outlook and everything.”
Canary Wharf Contractors executive director Cormac MacCrann said: “Canary Wharf Contractors Fund is proud to be able to help Building Lives and we urge our colleagues in the industry to help as best they can. If everyone gives a little it will help a lot.”
Visit www.cnplus.co.uk/home/buildinglives/#sign to sign your name to the list of supporters of #loveLIVES.