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Barking & Dagenham College construction training expands to south London

11th February 2015

A new construction training academy ? Building Lives ? has just opened in the heart of Lewisham as a result of a strategic partnership between Barking & Dagenham College, Phoenix Community Housing, and Lewisham Council.

The new Lewisham academy, based at Meadows Community Centre, Chesnut Close, is the first of its kind in Lewisham and will provide construction training and apprenticeships for local unemployed people aged 16-64 in a range of different construction trades. The courses will be particularly targeted at disadvantaged and hard-to-reach groups in an area where 28% of adults have no qualifications and 12% of 16-24 years are on out-of-work benefits.

Cathy Walsh OBE, Principal and CEO at Barking & Dagenham College, explains why the time is right for this new partnership:

“London’s population is growing and that means more homes and infrastructure are needed. The construction sector is seeing a rise in demand for skilled workers and this Academy means that more Londoners now have access to the highest quality training right on their doorstep. Students will develop both technical and employability skills to help them take advantage of the job opportunities generated by London’s growth.”

Barking & Dagenham College offers one of the leading construction training hubs in the Capital where every year around 1,000 students and apprentices develop their skills in a wide range of construction disciplines. With 12,500 students studying at their main campus in East London, this new venture means that more people now have access to the highest quality training.

Mike Paxton, Curriculum Director for Construction Industries and Entry to Employment at the College added:

“The construction industry offers a wealth of different career progressions for people of any age and with the recent publicity showing the UK’s shortage of skilled construction workers, this is the perfect time to think about a career in this field. Our training experts are all industry professionals and the courses offered are multi-skilled, which means students will learn about plumbing, painting and decorating, tiling and carpentry all on one course. These skills, coupled with the experience of working on building sites as part of the course, will give students a great start from which to launch their careers.”

Phoenix’s Chief Executive Jim Ripley said:

“We’re very excited to have teamed up with Building Lives to create the first specialist construction academy in Lewisham.

“We’re determined to do all we can to create opportunities for unemployed people in Lewisham and help them make the most of their lives. The academy will create a new generation of residents who are better equipped for long-term employment and could directly support us as we look at new development opportunities in Lewisham.”

The academy held its first induction session for local residents who had registered their interest for an apprenticeship place on Monday 12 January, and the sessions will continue throughout January. If you are interested in registering for a place at the Lewisham academy please come along to one of our induction sessions below or alternatively you can make contact with our dedicated recruitment team to arrange an academy visit.

The course will start on 26th January. Register your interest here –

Induction sessions:

· Monday 19 January 4-6pm

· Thursday 22 January 2-4pm


Building Lives Training Academy
Meadows Community Centre
Chestnut Close, Meadows Estate
Beckenham Hill Road


Recruitment contact: – 07734 961 159

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