The Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson which is set to redevelop Croydon’s retail centre, is pleased to have supported two local employability programmes run by Lives not Knives and the Crystal Palace FC Foundation which prepare young people from the borough with the practical training and skills required to be ready for work.
Lives not Knives’ successful pre-employment programme, LNKBuild, was run in partnership with building company Willmott Dixon to prepare and equip young people to enter the construction industry. The first six students that participated in this workshop have now completed their twelve week training courses and will soon enter full-time employment as construction apprentices.
The Croydon Partnership-funded programme entailed the provision of practical training; arming participants with the necessary skills to embark on a successful career in the field of construction. Students also acquired a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card on completion of the course in addition to immediate work experience on-site with Willmott Dixon. The Croydon Partnership funded the essential CSCS course as part of the programme. The Croydon Partnership has also partnered with the Crystal Palace FC Foundation over the past year to deliver ASPIRE II, a 12 week Intensive Employability Programme which helped 24 young locals develop the skills for work readiness, and in many cases obtain accredited qualifications, work experience and employment on the back of their participation in the programme.
The two initiatives form part of the Croydon Partnership’s Community Plan, which provides a framework for a phased community outreach programme, with a firm focus on youth engagement and local enterprise. Through the plan, the Croydon Partnership is investing directly in a broad range of community projects; has established a grants and bursaries programme, and provided local sponsorships and in-kind support and assistance to the wider community.
Steve Yewman, Development Director, Westfield, said: “Our Community Plan has enabled us to fund some fantastic local initiatives, with programmes such as LNKBuild and Aspire II being central to our mission of supporting youth employment in the borough.”
Carolyn Kenney, Development Director, Hammerson, said: “These programmes have provided a platform for young people from Croydon to develop their talents and gain the extra confidence and skills they need to access the world of employment, which is something we’re delighted to support.”
Monique Rebeiro, Lives not Knives, said: “We’re very grateful for the Croydon Partnership’s backing which enabled the LNKBuild programme to come to life. It has had a really positive impact on those who took part and we hope to attract further sponsorship on the back of this success so we can expand and enhance the initiative allowing more young people from the borough to benefit.”