- What does it do?
Building Lives provides pre-apprenticeship construction industry training for people aged between 14 and 65. Many of the apprentices come from marginalised groups, such as ex-offenders and homeless people. According to the social enterprise, it works with people who wouldn't have a hope of securing employment in the construction industry without its help.
- When was it set up?
Building Lives was set up by Steve Rawlings, the founder of the construction company Lakehouse, in 2010. Rawlings grew up in the East End of London and decided that he wanted to give something back to the community. The first Building Lives Academy opened in Camden, north London, in 2010. A further three Building Lives Academies now run in Hackney, Southwark and Sutton, with more academies to open this year.
- What has it achieved?
More than 130 apprentices have started its multi-skill apprenticeship programme. Eighty-five apprentices have gone on to complete the programme and 78 per cent have secured employment afterwards.
The social enterprise has also grown from two to 15 staff in the past year.
It estimates that it will be delivering 600 apprenticeships a year by 2015.
- What did the judges say?
Jeremy Crook, director of the Black Training Enterprise Group, said: "It's a very good business in a tough sector that also increases opportunities for under-represented groups."
Shared Interest Society