Building London Creating Futures (BLCF) was a partnership which aimed to find long-term employment for local people in central London, whilst at the same time helping the construction industry with its recruitment needs. The partnership consisted of construction employers, local authorities, employment agencies, regeneration partnerships, training providers and community organisations. The partnership was led by the London Borough of Southwark.
The objectives of the project were:
- the promotion of skill development, lifelong learning and inclusive work practices in the construction industry and retention of those suffering discrimination and inequality in the labour market
- empowerment of individuals to participate more fully in the labour market, to determine and fulfil learning and employment objectives
- to test and develop a sector specific transferable model of intermediary support in the construction industry that helped unemployed beneficiaries access, retain and progress in employment
- to provide unemployed and vulnerable workers with the opportunity to develop and improve basic and key skills.
- through post-placement support and training, to empower residents with hard and soft skills necessary for a future of sustainable employment
- to raise employer/ developer/ sub contractor awareness to the value of developing a more skilled empowered workforce
- to formulate a sub regional partnership that ensured at risk beneficiaries had equal opportunity in accessing, retaining and progressing in employment
- to improve links between employers, training agencies and NGOs to more effectively address barriers in the labour marker and support residents into sustainable employment
- to work with transnational partners in France and Nuremberg to assess and research ways of supporting older workers in the construction industry
BLCF was established in 2001 in response to the shortage of skilled labour in the central London construction industry and the difficulties experienced by many local people, particularly ethnic minorities and other disadvantaged groups, in finding and sustaining employment.
The programme supported a number of key target groups threatened with or facing exclusion from the labour market. These included people with no or low skills, previous unemployed (especially long-term unemployed), older workers, ethnic minorities, women and lone parents.
In its first 12 months of delivery, over 100 Londoners found work through BLCF.
Over half the DPs clients were from ethnic minority groups. In certain cases, clients were helped to become self employed in order to better obtain sub-contracting work
The DP has also offered skills training, including key skills, literacy and numeracy.
The DP has been contacted by other interested boroughs, including Newham (in relation to the Olympics Construction projects), the Corporation of London, Brighton and Manchester. They were all interested in replicating the ideas from this pilot.