Building Lives Foundation to close with loss of 16 jobs

The construction careers charity says it lost crucial funding, which has led to cuts in staffing and now closure

Building Lives: financial problems
Building Lives: financial problems

The construction charity the Building Lives Foundation is to close at the end of the month with the loss of 16 jobs.

The charity, which was set up in 2010 and registered with the Charity Commission in February 2015, runs building training programmes across London to help prepare young people for careers in the construction industry.

In a statement posted on the charity’s website, Building Lives said it had lost crucial funding in 2015 that had forced it to downsize twice.

The statement says that, at its peak, the charity was training more than 450 people at 10 academies and had a workforce of 40 full-time employees.

But the loss of funding meant the charity had had to reduce its staffing levels to 16 and the number of training academies it runs to four, which were based in four London boroughs.

Sian Workman, managing director of Building Lives, said that to continue operating for another year Building Lives needed £900,000 to deliver 380 Careerships – a fast-track training programme for the construction industry – through its four training academies.

The charity said it would focus on completing all outstanding training programmes and helping remaining trainees find employment or another training programme.

The training academies will now be handed back to the charity’s partner organisations, which will make decisions on their future purpose. The Building Lives statement says the charity will work with social landlords to "forge new relationships and local funding arrangements" to help keep the academies open.

Workman said: "I am deeply disappointed that we have failed in our attempts to secure the financial support needed from government and the construction sector to continue.

"However, I am also incredibly proud of what the team has accomplished since Building Lives first opened its doors. Proud that we dared to be different and in the process supported more than 1,000 people into construction careers. Proud that we genuinely tried to make a real difference to our society. And no matter what, that is something we will hold on to.

"We hope the legacy and learning left behind will assist other organisations to support people into construction careers."

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