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About us

What we do

We engage with organisations and employers in the construction industry to encourage them to offer work opportunities to disadvantaged young people. Through our annual events programme we bring together experts in the sector to identify and share best practice, and our annual Young Builder of the Year Awards celebrate the exceptional achievements of socially excluded young people and the organisations that support them.

The people we help

We aim to empower disadvantaged young people, ranging from 14 to 25 years old at risk from social exclusion, those already excluded and young offenders.

Celebrating achievement

We hold the annual YBUK Young Builder of the Year Awards. The awards are given in two categories:

  • In education, 14 – 18 years old
  • In training/employment, 18 – 24 years old

The awards focus not only on the qualifications gained, but the distance travelled for each nominee, whether that’s rising to challenges, breaking down barriers or overcoming adversity to achieve success.

Our aim

“To alleviate poverty, relieve unemployment and advance the life of young people, for the public benefit, by providing, in particular but not exclusively, advice, support and education in construction skills.”

Our objectives


We work with employers, organisations and leaders in the construction industry who wish to offer training and work opportunities to disadvantaged young people.


We disseminate and share best practice, in particular by bringing together like-minded experts and young people at our events.

Celebrate Achievement

Our Annual Young Builder of the Year Awards celebrate the achievements of socially excluded young people and the organisations that support them.

Zinnia’s story
The road to success

Zinnia was the winner of the 2018 YBUK Young Builder of the Year Award. She had a difficult journey, but with the right help and guidance she acquired the skills to succeed in her chosen trade. Discover Zinnia’s remarkable story.

Read Zinnia’s Story

How we’re governed

We are a charity, a company limited by guarantee and governed by a Board of Trustees.


Rt Hon Sir John Hayes CBE MP

Sir John Hayes has been a MP since 1997, when he was elected to represent South Holland and the Deepings in Lincolnshire. He has held 5 ministerial positions, including Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning (when he first became involved with Youthbuild UK) and 6 shadow ministerial positions. He was appointed to the Privy Council in 2013.

Prior to becoming a MP, he was a director of a Nottingham based IT company and a Nottinghamshire County Councillor.

His varied interests include education, elections and campaigning, political ideas and philosophy, local government, agriculture, commerce and industry, welfare of the elderly and disabled people.


Ian Davis


Ian has worked in the construction industry for almost 45 years. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer and his early career was with contractors and consultants in the UK and overseas. He was Director General of the Federation of Master Builders for nine years. Most recently he was the Executive Director with responsibility for Inspection, Building Control, Engineering, IT, Customer Services, External Training and Health and Safety at the National House-Building Council (NHBC).

Karen Jones


Karen is Group Head of HR for Redrow Homes, for whom she has worked for over 25 years. As a member of the Redrow Executive Team, Karen leads on the Valuing People pillar of their corporate strategy. Throughout her career, Karen has always worked to better the opportunities for others entering the construction industry. She has enhanced Redrow's school outreach, with learning resources and Redrow Ambassadors supporting pupils in regions of low social mobility. More recently her passion has been in developing how Redrow's approach to mental health and wellbeing, while supporting as diverse a range of people as possible to work in housebuilding.

Kevin OConnor


Kevin is the Head of Social Responsibility and Inclusion at Durkan Limited, he started in the construction industry as a labourer for a flat roofer – his dad. He has spent time in public sector housing management at Welwyn Hatfield, and was an active trade unionist supporting career development and ‘trainability’. Following a return to education, he entered the voluntary sector working with street homeless alcohol and drugs services in North London. Kevin joined community contractor Durkan 16 years ago and following a series of site and office-based roles now heads up all aspects of social value and inclusion – including managing their apprenticeship and training programmes. He has a particular interest in mental health policy and was a volunteer for MIND for the past five years.

Livia Williams


Livia is Head of Planned Investments and Re-lets at Nottingham Community Housing Association. With over 20 years in the roofing industry Livia has a wealth of experience and knowledge. She is dedicated to supporting the roofing industry at strategic level through the development of apprenticeships, training, management and qualifying the workforce. Furthermore, Livia is actively involved in promoting fairness and respect in the construction industry and empowering women in roofing through creating a common platform to meet, share best practice, develop career progression routes, coaching and mentoring.

Darryl Stewart


Darryl is the Head of Commercial Services at NHBC. He started his career in the construction industry as a labourer on housing sites while studying at college. He joined North East Lincolnshire Building Control as a surveyor in 1992 where he spent the next six years. In 1998 he joined NHBC as a Building Control surveyor, where he went on to hold a wide range of diverse roles including managing teams and driving programmes of change. In his current role his primary focus is the support of the home building industry with impactful and engaging training targeted at driving safety, quality and customer excellence on site.

Martyn Price MBE


Martyn is Chair of the Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force, (CCATF), People and Business Development Director, at MPB Structures Ltd and Head of Workforce Development at VGC Group Ltd. Martyn is a big advocate of social mobility and in both his role at the CCATF and at MPB, he recognises the opportunities to support disadvantaged young people and is regarded as the social mobility champion.

Shenaaz Chenia


Shenaaz Chenia began her career in finance and moved from the private sector to become the founding CEO of YouthBuild Ventures in the United Kingdom. Shenaaz provides insight and expertise on the London Mayors, Skills for London Steering Group as well as the Construction Leadership Council (CLC)’s Skills Work stream, she is a member the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Apprenticeships as well as the Youth Employment Group. Reaching across most sectors and forming deep meaningful partnerships with the sole aim of assisting youth into employment and into leadership roles, Shenaaz is adept at joining the dots to ensure that youth are given the best chances to succeed.

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Our location

Youthbuild UK Limited
c/o Denbre,
103a High Street,

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