Guests enjoying the speeches!
Youthbuild UK held a Patrons’ Event on 10th February 2016, in the River Room at the House of Lords, which was attended by 60 guests representing the construction industry and organisations that support disadvantaged young people . The event was very kindly sponsored by our President, the Rt Hon, the Baroness Smith of Basildon.
Stephen Ratcliffe, Trustee and formerly Director of UKCG, introduced the event outlining what Youthbuild UK does, promoting social inclusion through construction training, and encouraged all present to become involved, finding suitable applicants for the Young Builder of the Year Awards, supporting events such as Building Pathways and to offer in kind and financial support.
Carl Wakefield, Principal of Plume Community Academy, Maldon, told how two of his students had transformed their live through undertaking vocational training in construction. How they were both finalists in the 2015 Young Builder of the Year Awards and had now started apprenticeships.
Paul Chandler, Executive Vice President of Skanska, stated that Skanska had been involved with Youthbuild UK, for the last 10 years, because they believed that giving young people a chance to enter the industry, through the vocational route, would help to reduce the current skills shortage and give them the opportunity to progress to more senior levels. On a personal level, as a Judge of the Young Builder of the Year Awards, he expressed how humbling it was to hear the stories of how young people had overcome barriers in their personal lives train for and gain employment in Construction.
Our final speaker was Kerri Chambers, the Runner Up at the 2011 Young Builder of the Year Awards. She talked about her difficult start in life, how she became a bricklayer and how she cheekily asked Paul Chandler for a job at the Awards Ceremony. She is now a trainee Quantity Surveyor at Skanska and is about to start a degree. As she said, “without Youthbuild, none of this would have happened”. We all wish Kerri every success in the future.
Ken Claxton Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award
Ken was the founder and driving force behind Youthbuild UK and the inspiration for the Young Builder of the Year Awards. Without his effort and enthusiasm we would not be here today. Sadly Ken passed away in 2012. When the Trustees first discussed the “Lifetime Achievement Award”, it was unanimously agreed to dedicate it to his memory.
We are delighted that his daughter, Kit, agreed to present the inaugural award.
Alan Crich was named as the winner of the Ken Claxton Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award for his selfless efforts in promoting construction as a career, for over 60 years after completing his apprenticeship, from teaching bricklaying, training up his employers and his own workforce, taking on and supporting the development of apprentices, to working in schools and colleges. At 83 he is still active helping young people enter construction.
Alan receiving his Award from Kit Claxton-Wright
Guests at the event
We were delighted that so many guests came from around the country (Aberdeen, Swansea, Leeds, Ironbridge, Warwick as well as London and the South East) to support the event, many of them are pictured below:-