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Built Environment Sector Aims To Raise £1m For Disadvantaged Young People

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Prince’s Trust partners in the Built Environment sector have launched the Million Pound Challenge, which aims to raise £1 million through employee fundraising.

This unprecedented initiative, launched in The Trust’s 40th year, will raise vital funds to help 1,000 more disadvantaged young people get into education, training or employment.

A launch event, sponsored by Systech, was organised in London on 1st April 2015, where James Wates CBE, Chairman of The Prince’s Trust Built Environment Leadership Group* called other companies to join the challenge.

James Wates CBE said: “The Million Pound Challenge is an ambitious and exciting project. We hope to raise a million pounds in a year but we still need many more companies to take part in this collaboration. A target isn’t worth setting if it’s too easy to achieve, and we definitely won’t achieve our million pound target without the support of many more in the sector.

“There are still three quarters of a million young people who are out of work in this country and there are far too many young people who leave school without any qualifications. The need is great, we must do more. And, collectively, we can do more.”

The Million Pound Challenge has already brought together some of The Trust’s existing partners, including Wates, ISS, Considerate Constructors Scheme (CSS), Balfour Beatty, ENGIE, Costain, Systech, UPP and Rydon, with many others set to join the initiative.

Ben Marson, Director of Corporate Partnerships at The Prince’s Trust said: “For 40 years now, we have supported over 825,000 disadvantaged young people across the United Kingdom, to gain the self-belief and skills they need to create a future that they deserve. The only thing that stops us helping more young people is the funding to do it. We are very grateful to our partners who have already signed up to the challenge and we hope many more will join them!”

In the Built Environment sector alone, an additional 200,000 jobs are expected to be created over the next five years. By coming together, the companies will not only be raising vital funds, they will be displaying a commitment to helping many more young people access jobs in the sector and address the skills gap.

Derin Ade-Ojo is one of these young people. After being helped by The Prince’s Trust, she is currently thriving as an apprentice at Engie.

Invited to speak at the launch event, she explained how much of a difference The Prince’s Trust has made to her life. Having to care for her mum and raising her son on her own, Derin could not go to University and found it difficult to find a job without any experience, despite her efforts. One day, she came across The Prince’s Trust website and enrolled on a Get into Facilities Management programme, a two week course that develops young people’s skills in the Facilities Management sector and supports them into outcomes within that sector. Over the two weeks, Derin grew in confidence and learnt valuable skills which led her to securing her apprenticeship with Engie.

Derin said: “Getting in touch with The Prince’s Trust literally changed my life. I don’t know where I would be today without the help of The Trust and the support of its partners. And I probably would have never imagined that I could work in the Built Environment sector! I now feel extremely confident about the future and can’t wait to see what the next step will be!”

Other companies wishing to take part in this sector-wide challenge should contact Tom Halliley at The Prince’s Trust at tom.halliley@princes-trust.org.uk or on +44 (0) 2075347428.

*The Built Environment Leadership Group (BELG) is a collaboration of Prince’s Trust corporate partners which has changed the lives of over 6000 young people since 2005, helping them find work in one of the Built Environment sectors, particularly in construction and facilities management.

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