Could your company build a strong foundation for young people?

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Site safety tour with Barnes Construction
A site safety tour with Barnes Construction

Local charity, Inspire Suffolk, offers young people the opportunity to gain the qualifications and experience they need to enter the construction industry.

Inspire Suffolk is a charity dedicated to supporting young people onto a positive future and helping them build the skills they need to shape their own futures. One of the ways the charity achieves this is through an intensive, two-week STEP UP programme, where young people (aged between 19-24) are given the chance to gain industry-related training, as well as experience and skills that will equip them for future employment.

Starting in March and continuing throughout 2020, the charity will be offering accessible opportunities for the next generation, regardless of their backgrounds, to kick start their careers and earn industry recognised accreditations. This will include a CSCS card, Health & Safety in Construction qualification and the PPE they need to step safely onsite.

Inspiring the next generation

In order to continue providing opportunities for young people, Inspire Suffolk relies on the support of local construction firms to give young people the chance to prove themselves, beyond what’s listed on their CVs or previous experience.

There are many ways businesses can get involved, from providing work experience and hands-on demonstrations to giving presentations, behind-the-scenes tours or, better still, job opportunities.

Inspire Suffolk STEP UP programme
STEP UP programme classroom learning

Education Programmes Manager, Garry Mills, said: “It’s always impressive to meet a new cohort of young people who are hungry to start a career but may have been hindered by their previous education or experience. Not only is it a great way for them to enter the industry, but many of the companies we’ve worked with have also gone on to employ young people from the programme.”

Could your company build a strong foundation for young people who are looking to create a career in construction?

As well as offering local young people a pathway into the construction industry, companies can benefit from embedding a STEP UP programme into their organisation in a number of ways:

  • Broaden recruitment scope and strategy
  • Plug a local skills gap
  • Witness potential employees in the workplace before interview
  • Shape potential employees in line with company values
  • Inspire young people to buy into the industry and organisation
  • Gain positive public relations by supporting our charity 
  • Promote Corporate Social Responsibility

Construction is just one of the many sectors that Inspire Suffolk cover through our STEP UP programme

Last year, a group of young people took part in a Step Up Waste Management programme, in partnership with Sackers Recycling Limited. After two weeks of on-the-job experience at their recycling centre in Great Blackenham, two young people secured apprenticeship positions at the firm by showing enthusiasm and a strong desire to learn.

Sackers STEP UP course with Inspire Suffolk
The STEP UP course at Sackers

Kevin Harrington, Compliance Manager at Sackers, who oversaw the training said: “This was very new to us, and it was more successful than we could have ever expected. We had a good calibre of students, all willing to learn, who were reliable and engaging. I was really impressed!”

If you think you have the right tools to build a young person’s future by providing them with experience in construction, or would like to find out more, please contact Tony Wilson, STEP UP tutor, on 07715 817229 or