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A trainee site manager who overcame adversity has been crowned the winner of Youthbuild UK’s 2019 Young Builder of the Year, with support from key sponsor, the B&CE Charitable Trust.
The results were announced at an awards ceremony at the House of Commons on Wednesday, October 16. Nick James, 24, of Stockport, Greater Manchester, who works for Jones Homes North West, was named the winner of the 18-24 category. The runner-up was Chris Brown, who works for Redrow Yorkshire. The audience heard how, with the support of family and loved ones, Nick who lost him mum as a young child, completed his apprenticeship before ending up as a trainee manager on a £1m site. Young painter and decorator Dylan Connell, from the Barnardo’s ETS (North) – a scheme that’s previously received funding from B&CE’s Charitable Trust, was named the winner of the 14-18 category, while Matthew Povey from Blackburn College was the runner-up.
Youthbuild UK is an organisation that works with the construction industry to champion young employees from disadvantaged backgrounds. The guest of honour at the event was Michael Volpe, the director of Opera Holland Park, and he was joined by Alasdair Reisner, who chaired the judging panel. The awards are backed by several sponsors, including the B&CE Charitable Trust, Toolstation, NHBC and Bromford. It is the eighth year that B&CE’s Charitable Trust, which gives back to construction through a range of financial assistance and grants including supporting education and training projects for young people, has sponsored the awards.
Representing the Charitable Trust, Samantha Wilding, said: “We’ve been involved with Youthbuild UK since 2012, and recognise the hard work they do to provide opportunities for young people, many of whom have overcome personal adversity and challenges. “We are delighted to work with an organisation that recognises that not everyone gets a fair chance in life and helps provide opportunities for so many disadvantaged young people. “These awards showcase the amazing young talent we have coming into the construction industry and demonstrate how investing in these young people can really help them turn their lives around.”
Simon Mantle, from Youthbuild UK, said: “We are hugely proud of all the young people who entered our awards this year. The standard of entries and the strength of their personal stories increases each year and 2019 was the toughest one yet to judge. We are grateful for the support we receive both from the industry and our sponsors.”
Notes to editor: B&CE’s Charitable Trust was set up in 1991 to give back to the construction industry by providing help for people working in construction in times of need, including grants towards education, financial support and retraining. It has given out more than £3.5 million in charitable donations.
For more details on how to apply for grants, visit https://bandce.co.uk/corporate-responsibility/the-charitable-trust/help-for-education-and-training/