Providing support to Building Lives apprentices


In this blog, Councillor Philip Glanville gives his thoughts on the measures that Hackney Council is taking to support the borough’s apprentices who have been affected by the recent withdrawal of funding from the Building Lives programme.

Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: Both living and working in Hackney I notice one recurring theme: Construction. We are a growing borough, with development changing Hackney’s landscape to meet the demand for new homes, commercial space and the growing popularity of the borough’s leisure and hospitality economy.

Construction means opportunities, from on-site training for those wishing to build construction careers, to full or part-time employment for skilled tradespeople. Helping to provide people in Hackney with access to skills and training to take advantage of present and future opportunities is hugely important. Which is why I was shocked to hear that funding for the borough’s Building Lives programme had been cancelled.

Building Lives provides a range of construction-related training for apprentices in Hackney to build skills and experience across trade disciplines to support future construction careers, or to expand on existing skills to move into other areas of the industry. With the sudden loss of funding, the careers of the apprentices that use this important training service are being put at risk. We, as a Council, will try and mitigate this impact using as many avenues as we can.

I have worked with colleagues from across the Council and Hackney Homes who, alongside staff from Building Lives, are exploring ways of supporting apprentices by finding alternative placements and additional training.

We have already taken a number of steps to support those affected:

  • We are looking to identify and secure painting and decorating work in partnership with local developers and contractors in addition to Here East for further training opportunities
  • Our regeneration team has been working closely with Building Lives to secure apprenticeship placement at a number of development sites, this work will continue
  • Since 2014, Hackney has introduced Building Lives to a number of our Council-led housing regeneration developments to secure apprenticeship placements. We will continue to look at opportunities across these sites
  • As a Council, we have contacted two apprenticeship training agencies to explore the possibility of transferring Building Lives apprenticeships over to them to ensure that their formal apprenticeship programme can be completed and qualifications can be gained. One of the agencies has welcomed this idea and is willing to work with the Council to look at this further.

Above are a few options that we are continuing to look at closely. The Council will, in partnership with Hackney Homes, Building Lives, developers and other training agencies, continue to explore as many options available to us to ensure that the scheme completes its course and apprentices are supported.