Yearly Archives - 2016

Winners of the 2016 Young Builder of the Year Awards Announced


Youthbuild UK has announced that Chidi Nnebe of Durkan, a London based construction company, is the 2016 Young Builder of the Year.

The UK-wide awards celebrate the achievements of young people who have overcome personal barriers to train and work for the construction industry.  The awards ceremony was held at the House of Commons on 19 October 2016 and the winners were presented with a trophy, framed certificate, a cheque, and vouchers from Toolstation, one of the sponsors of the awards.

Now in its seventeenth year, the Young Builder of the Year Awards has attracted a growing number of entries from the future talent of the UK construction industry each year.

Over 140 people were present at this year’s ceremony, including politicians, senior figures from the construction industry, colleges, training organisations, finalists and their families. All the finalists finished the day with a trip on The London Eye.

Chidi Nnebe, who has recently completed his apprenticeship in bricklaying with Durkan in London, was named as Young Builder of the Year 2016. Chidi had to overcome a series of personal and family traumas before starting his apprenticeship.

Jennifer Danaher, from Wigan, who is a trainee quantity surveyor at Balfour Beatty, was chosen as the Runners Up.

Chloe MacDonald, an apprentice painter and decorator with Baxter and Gillespie, Glasgow, was chosen as the winner of the 14 to 18 year-old category.

Action for Children, Glasgow, received a special award to support their ongoing work in giving opportunities to disaffected/disadvantaged young people to train for the construction industry, including Chloe MacDonald and the 14 to 18 year old category Runner Up Marc Lambert.

John B, Chidi, ChloeChidi Nnebe and Chloe MacDonald with John Bird

Lord Bird of Nottinghill (John Bird the founder of the Big Issue) presented this year’s Awards.

We are grateful to the Rt Hon the Baroness Smith of Basildon, the President of Youthbuild UK, for sponsoring the Awards at the House of Commons.

This year’s high profile judging panel was chaired by Stephen Ratcliffe, formerly Director of the UK Contractors Group; other judges included Neil Carroll, Commercial Development Director of Toolstation; Paul Chandler, Executive Vice President of Skanska; Judy Lowe OBE formerly Deputy Chairman of CITB; Geoff Mann, Industry Training Manager of NHBC and Alasdair Reisner, Chief Executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA).

The sponsors of the 2016 awards were NHBC, Skanska, Toolstation, B&CE Charitable Trust and CECA.

2016 Finalists

The 2016 Finalists, pictured on the House of Commons Terrace

The results of the 2016 Young Builder of the Year Awards are given below: –

14 to 18 Year Old Category
Winner: Chloe MacDonald
Runner up: Marc Lambert
Commended: Harry Knox, Jack Metcalfe, Sophie Tomkins and Luke Wilson

18 to 24 Year Old Category
Winner: Chidi Nnebe
Runner up: Jennifer Danaher
Highly Commended: James Eastham, Pablo Morgan and Justin Phillips
Commended: Jordan Ball, Thomas Barber, Walid Durani, Sam Jones, Kamila Laton, Gary McGeown, Daniel Stonebridge, Charlie Walsh, Billy Welch and Alec Zacharewicz


John Bird to be guest speaker at the 2016 Young Builder of the Year Awards

JJohnBirdohn Bird, 70 was brought up in an orphanage and served time in a young offenders institution before he was out of his teens. During the turbulent and difficult times of his youth he often slept rough as one of London’s homeless.

He was, as he now frankly reflects, very much a part of the problems of society.

Gradually he realised that the only way to get out of the destructive circle into which he had grown up was to give himself a hand up rather than wait for others to give him a hand-out.

Settling down in his 20’s he began to hold down regular jobs in factories and eventually as a skilled printer.

But he never forgot the hardship and problems of his youth and the ways in which similar deprivation afflicts  tens of thousands of others in similar positions on the bottom rungs of society.

Twenty-five years ago this year, using his knowledge of the print industry, his social vision and energy led him to found the now world-famous Big Issue.

The weekly magazine achieves its mass circulation through being sold on the streets of the UK and only by vendors who are homeless and vulnerably accommodated.

The deal is simple with the proceeds of each copy sold being split equally between the vendor and the publishers. Thus, reflecting John’s own philosophy, the deprived and under-privileged are given a hand-up through earning their money rather than waiting for the hand-out which may do little more than trap them in the homeless poverty from which many crave escape.

The Big Issue, or similar magazines, are now published in dozens of countries around the world – always with the same aims of helping those struggling for a break in society.

In transforming himself from being part of the problem of society into being part of the solution, John has become a globally admired social entrepreneur.

He is invited to speak at major events around the world. Although strictly non-political, John has been consulted by British Prime Ministers and Cabinet Ministers on how best to lift people out of poverty through harnessing their own energies.

As a newly created peer Lord Bird of Nottinghill sits in the House of Lords.


Finalists announced for the 2016 Young Builder of the Year Awards

Following the judging process the following have been chosen as this year’s finalists: –

14 to 18 Year Olds still in education or training (including apprentices)

Harry Knox                        Barnardo’s – The Hub

Marc Lambert                   Action for Children and Carter Ceilings

Chloe MacDonald            Action for Children and Baxter & Gillespie

Jack Metcalfe                    Farnborough College and Barratt Homes

Sophie Tomkins               St Edmond’s Society

Luke Wilson                       Action for Children and DV McColl


18 to 24 Year Olds in employment and training

Jordan Ball                         Construction Design Centre

Thomas Barber                 Kier

Jennifer Danaher            Balfour Beatty

Walid Durani                    Farnborough College

James Eastham               Eric Wright Construction

Sam Jones                          Coleman & Co

Kamila Laton                    Balfour Beatty

Gary McGeown                JW Joinery

Pablo Morgan                   Notting Hill Housing CTI

Chide Nnebe                     Durkan

Justin Phillips                  Morgan Sindall

Daniel Stonebridge        Notting Hill Housing CTI

Charlie Walsh                   Hobson & Porter

Billy Welch                        Costain

Alez Zacharewizc            Cyfle Building Skills

All finalists are invited to the Awards Ceremony at the House of Commons, held on 19th October 2016, when the winner will be announced


New Trustee for Youthbuild UK

We are delighted to announce that Kevin O’Connor, the Head of Social Responsibility and Inclusion at Durkan Limited has joined the Board of Trustees.

Kevin’s experience in voluntary sector, working with street homeless alcohol and drugs services together with his extensive construction experience, means that he fully understands and appreciates the Youthbuild ethos.

We very much look forward to working with Kevin in the future.



2016 Awards are now open

Applications for the 2016 Young Builder of the Year Awards are now open.

There are two categories: –

14 to 18 year olds still in education or training

18 to 24 year olds in employment or training

For further information about the 2016 Young Builder of the Year Awards, please go to the 2016 Awards page, where guidance about completing applications and the application forms can be downloaded from.

Applications close on Friday 29th July 2016.

For 2016, there is an overall prize fund of £7,500.

The 20 finalists will be invited to the Awards Ceremony, to be held at the House of Commons on Wednesday 19th October 2016, when the winner will be announced.

The 2016 Young Builder of the Year Awards are sponsored by NHBC, Skanska, Toolstation, B&CE Charitable Trust and CECA, please see Sponsors page.


New Chair for YBUK

16-YBUK-6606Stephen Ratcliffe, formerly Director of UKCG, was appointed as Chair of Youthbuild UK (YBUK) at the Trustees Meeting held on 6th April 2016. He has been involved with YBUK as Chair of the Young Builder of the Year Awards Judging Panel for the last 5 years. Stephen became a Trustee of YBUK in November 2015.

Joe Brennan was appointed as Deputy Chair. Joe had been acting as interim Chair for the last year and we wish to thank him for his hard work in keeping us on track during that time.

Livia Williams of the Roofing Industry Alliance was also appointed as a Trustee of YBUK at the same meeting.



CECA to sponsor the Young Builder of the Year Awards

Youthbuild UK are delighted to announce that the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) are to sponsor the Young Builder of the Year Awards Finalists’ trip on the London Eye.

The 20 finalists of the 2016 Young Builder of the Year Awards will be invited to the Awards Ceremony at the House of Commons on Wednesday 19th October 2016, when the winner will be announced. Following the Awards Ceremony the finalists go on a trip on the London Eye – a fitting end to the day.

Alastair Reisner the CECA Chief Executive said that he was “very happy to take over from UKCG in sponsoring the Finalists’ trip on the London Eye”.


Building Pathways 8th June 2016



Building Pathways 2016

Youthbuild UK are delighted to announce that the next Building Pathways event will be held on Wednesday 8th June 2016, at the Court House, Salford.


Could you help unleash the potential of disengaged, disaffected

young people to fill the construction industry skills gap

There is a 200,000 shortfall in the construction workforce and there almost a million young people not in education, employment or training.

A potential solution is to give opportunities to disengaged young people to train for and / or become employed in the construction industry.

Does it work? Not in all cases, but when it does the results are amazing!


Why get involved: Brett’s story is an inspiration to us all

Brett Barlow - 2014 Winner 16 to 24 categoryThe 2014 Young Builder of the Year has had a traumatic home life, following the death of his mother, his father had a triple heart bypass and he became his carer. Unsurprisingly he left school with few qualifications, but he had the desire to work with his hands. Brett managed to get a place at the Chevin Housing training school where his attitude and aptitude led to him being given an apprenticeship as a joiner. He has managed to successfully combine this with his role as a carer. His Managers describe him as “having a maturity well beyond his years” and that “he was always obliging and went the extra mile when he was working in these tenant’s properties” and finally that “his caring attitude is a great reflection on our Organisation”. Since winning the Young Builder of the Year Award Brett has completed his NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery and has represented the Great Britain Under 21 Rugby League team.

Could you give opportunities to help to create the “workforce of the future”?

There are, already, hundreds of organisations, from small charities and construction micro businesses to housing associations, major contractors and charities such as Action for Children and Barnardo’s that are already giving opportunities to disengaged, disaffected young people to train for and enter the world of employment. Construction offers a chance to learn skills that can provide well paid employment that can transform young people’s lives.


They can’t all be wrong, why don’t you join them?


Patrons’ Event

Youthbuild UK are holding a Patron’s Event, sponsored by our President, Baroness Smith of Basildon, in the River Room, House of Lords, on the evening of Wednesday 10th February.

Attendees will hear why schools and major contractors support the Young Builder of the Year Awards, and how the runner up in 2011 has developed her career.

We will also be announcing the inaugural winner o the “Ken Claxton Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award”. Ken was the founder of  Youthbuild UK and inspiration for the Young Builder of the Year Awards. We are delighted that Ken’s daughter will be presenting the Award.