YOUNG PEOPLE GAIN CONSTRUCTION SKILLS
To celebrate the achievements of young people
on The Prince’s Trust’s ‘Get into Heritage Construction’ programme,
an event took place on 21st September, at the Chellington Centre,
in Carlton, which showcased their work.
As part of Bedford High Street’s Townscape
Heritage Initiative (THI), Bedford Borough Council and The Prince’s
Trust have been working together with Bedford College and local
stonemasonry company, Riverdale Stone, to deliver the programme to
a group of unemployed young people in Bedford.
The programme provided hands-on construction
experience as well as information and support on ways to get into
the construction and heritage industries.
For three weeks, brickwork tutors from Bedford
College’s Construction Department taught the basics of the trade.
The group also participated in calligraphy and stone carving under
the guidance of Riverdale Stone.
The final week of the programme saw the group
carry out a historic wall restoration job at the Chellington
Centre, working with stone and traditional lime mortar and putting
their new skills into practice, overseen by Riverdale Stone.
Since completing the programme, many of the
participants have gone on to secure apprenticeships and enrolled on
courses with Bedford College, with a clear focus for the
Mayor Dave Hodgson, said: “This programme
offered young people a hands-on opportunity to learn the
construction skills needed to transform our High Street and
maintain historic designs and architecture. The programme not only
gave individuals the skills they need to go on to do great things
professionally, it also benefitted the local community, with a
historic feature being restored for everyone to see and to
Paul Beesley, senior head of programmes for
The Prince’s Trust in East of England, said: “The Prince’s Trust
Get into Heritage course gives young people intensive training,
work experience and qualifications in the construction and heritage
industries to help them into a job. With youth unemployment
continuing to reach record highs, it is imperative that charities,
businesses and government bodies work together in order to provide
young people in the area with the support they need – and deserve –
to move into the workplace.”
David Wilkins, Assistant Director for
Construction Bedford College, said: “This was a great project to be
involved in. It has helped to give a number of young people the
perfect opportunity to learn skills to help enter the construction
industry, and the heritage element has also shown that careers in
the industry are not just about new building. The collaboration
with local employers and industry experts also enabled specific
opportunities for all participants of the course, and has led to
the entire group either gaining Apprenticeships, or entering a
course here at Bedford College.”
The Prince’s Trust helps disadvantaged young
people to turn their lives around. Three in four young people
helped by The Trust move into work, training or education.
If you would like further information on the
‘Get into Heritage Construction’ programme, please contact Nancy
Falloon, THI Project Manager, at Bedford Borough Council, on