Partnership builds solid future for construction apprentices

A north London employment partnership is building a bright future for a group of previously unemployed young construction apprentices. Among the new recruits, Ana Rafael, 24, says her painting and decorating role has ‘turned her life around’ after three years unsuccessfully searching for work.

Ana, from Cricklewood, is one of seven young trainees to be supported into work by local Work Programme provider Ingeus, which partners with apprentice training agency Green Future Training in Muswell Hill. The year-long apprenticeships combine theory-based learning with on-the-job, supervised training and assessments whereby the trainees work for construction partner Urban Design Build, or other external construction companies, to gain practical work experience. The successful recruits also received pre-employment training from career coaches, Maze8, to ensure they were fully prepared for the world of work.

For Ana, the partnership has provided a job she loves and the promise of a long-term career. Despite attending college and having a range of part-time work experience, she feared her dream to become a painter and decorator would never happen, until she was referred to Ingeus.

“Ingeus really helped me, constantly advising me of vacancies and tailoring my CV to construction roles, that did the trick!” said Ana. “They told me about the Green Future apprenticeships and I was thrilled to be successful. It’s totally turned my life around.

Ana’s fellow-trainee Casey White, 20, certainly agrees, after being unemployed for more than a year.

“Being out of work is so hard and I really wanted to learn a trade which would have lasting prospects,” said Casey, who is from Hornsey. “This apprenticeship will give me the skills and experience I need for a fulfilling career and in the meantime, having a stable income, learning new things and having a worthwhile day ahead of me have already made a huge difference to my life.”

Ana, Casey and their fellow apprentices have been supported by Ingeus and Green Future Training with help from the Youth Contract; a wage subsidy of up to £2,275 for employers recruiting long-term unemployed 18-24 year-olds on the Work Programme.

Geoff Bligh, Operations Director at Green Future Training said: “Working with Ingeus made the recruitment process straightforward and meant we got the best applicants for our positions.

“Ingeus ensured that its clients had the qualities we were looking for and set up all the interviews. As an employer, it saved massive amounts of time, expense and hassle and we recruited some fantastic people as a result.”

On successful completion of their apprenticeships, the Ingeus recruits will gain an Edexcel BTEC Level 2 Construction Maintenance Operative qualification.

Ingeus has helped 39,000 people into work across London to date and has eight branches across the Capital. For more information on the Youth Contract or Ingeus’ range of free recruitment services visit