Eight young people from the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham are on course to complete the Government’s flagship traineeship scheme in one of the first successful programmes in the construction sector. The programme has been run by Barking & Dagenham College in partnership with Lakehouse, which has provided 80 hours of work experience on sites in the borough for each candidate.

The traineeship programme is aimed at 16 to 24 year olds not in education, employment or training. The College and Lakehouse have teamed up to provide a mix of formal training, employability skills and practical work experience to help enhance the youngsters’ job prospects. Trainees will complete the three-month, full time scheme in June following the last of their week-long work experience blocks with Lakehouse.

Iain Gambardella, economic development manager at Lakehouse, said: “It’s wonderful to be involved in a new Government scheme which is boosting opportunities for young people in the area. At Lakehouse we’re all about making an impact, whether it’s through integrating residents into their communities, engaging with local businesses or creating employment opportunities for local young people. The trainees are all really enthusiastic and we’re proud to have offered them the opportunity to create a career in the construction industry. Having the trainees on site for a week at a time also really helped the success of the programme – it’s much easier to learn when you can get stuck in and see a process through from start to finish.”

Stephen Lee, apprenticeship manager at Barking & Dagenham College, said: “We’re delighted at the progress made by our trainees. It can be really difficult to gain that initial work experience, and this scheme has helped our trainees build their confidence and develop crucial workplace skills. The College is really proud to be boosting employment prospects for young people and getting them ready to take on an apprenticeship or full-time role.”

Traineeships were introduced in August 2013 by Matthew Hancock MP, Minister for Skills and Enterprise. They give young people a competitive edge by providing the skills needed to secure and succeed in employment, including apprenticeships.

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