Construction training charity Building Lives has announced it is to shut down operations by the end of June due to a lack of sustainable funding. The award-winning charity opened its first training academy in 2010 and at one point was training almost 450 people in construction skills needed to start a career in the industry.

During the skills shortage of recent years Building Lives has been a leading force in helping young people across London gain valuable and life-long skills at their training academies as well as employing a number of staff themselves. Unfortunately a loss of government funding last year led to downsizing and now the decision to cease operations.

True to form, Building Lives will be taking steps to attempt to ensure there are still construction training facilities available to local residents where at all possible, working with social landlords to forge new relationship and arrange local funding while also helping the 16 staff who have been made redundant to find positions elsewhere.

Building Lives has always strived to help young people into employment and it is sad to see such a charity cease operations. This should serve as inspiration for construction firms to join together through initiatives such as GoConstruct to ensure that our industry continues to thrive and such skills shortages do not repeat themselves in future.

The GoConstruct initiative is supported by O’Neill & Brennan and the CITB along with many construction firms. It is a collaboration between many companies, a lot of which traditionally compete with each other, towards a common goal which will benefit the industry as a whole. The campaign is aimed at educating young people and ensuring that outdated stereotypes about the industry are pushed aside. GoConstruct is about making sure that people enter the jobs market understanding that construction is a varied industry at the cutting edge of technology, with hundreds of different career paths and specialities to choose from. This shift in attitudes will hopefully go some way to ensuring a diverse and sizeable workforce for years to come.