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Heritage

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 future.

 

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 enjoy.”

 

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 01234 276258.

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