Opportunities for work and training in Barnsley are not always easy to find. It’s considered an area of multiple deprivation and the number of people without formal qualifications is 10% higher than the national average. Additionally, a high number of houses have been left unoccupied after the departure of the mining industry, many of which desperately need to be transformed from derelict houses to attractive family homes.
Leveraging additional funds
Power to Change’s funding has allowed Barnsley Community Build (BCB), a local community business with almost two decades of experience, to continue providing training and education for under 24s looking to enter the construction sector. The grant directly funded ten trainees who rebuilt and renovated two local homes, adding to the 73 individuals it had helped to train in the previous three years. BCB was also able to take on an additional two full-time staff, boosting its team to 12.
Thriving during a pandemic
After a brief pause in early 2020, Barnsley Community Build was able to continue operating in a Covid-safe manner. Its team was even able to help with tasks such as dropping leaflets for the council, ensuring everyone knew about the support that was available.
Thanks to its strong links with the local authority and council, its apprentices have been able to tackle a number of council property refurbishments. In addition, the organisation has undertaken private projects for the community, giving them access to affordable builders and bringing in vital income for the charity. Work is continuing to come in thanks to glowing word-of-mouth recommendations.
Building a future
Barnsley Community Build has refined its model to ensure its apprenticeships go to people with a genuine desire to find employment in construction. Now, new recruits are put through a ten-week course, spending six weeks with the team and four with an external trainer. Utilising this traineeship model has boosted apprentice engagement and ensures the opportunities are going to young people who are committed to building a career in construction.
Barnsley Community Build’s work has allowed people to remain in the communities their families have lived in for generations by providing genuinely affordable housing. And in turn, the young people who have transformed the buildings have gained priceless professional experience.