The construction industry is strong in London; however, a widening skills and labour gap has created a shortage of people available to fill the jobs.

The YouthBuild (YB) project in Thamesmead delivers a holistic construction skills based course for 18 to 29-year-olds who are not in education or employment. It aims to equip them with the skills and mindsets to succeed in the workplace.

Julius Debrah moved from Ghana to the UK when he was 14 years old to join the rest of his family who had already settled in well and were working for the NHS. Julius spoke very little English but was well supported by his school, who provided him with access to a number of opportunities to culturally orientate himself.

Julius attended Bexley Business Academy and decided to stay on for sixth form. However, when he came to leave school, as with many of his friends, he found it diffi cult to find the right career opportunity and, despite support from family and friends, was unable to get his foot in the door with the right employer.

When the pandemic hit, Julius had to sign up for Universal Credit; fortunately, his work coach at the local Job Centre Plus spotted an employability opportunity with YB.

Julius enrolled and successfully graduated from the programme in July 2021, receiving commendations for his positive work ethic and his determination to succeed.

Read the full article here and find out how the FIS BuilBack programme can support your business.