Author Archives: Richard Blandford

You’re Hired! How one man crowdfunded his way out of homelessness

Joe and Beam Manager

In August 2017, Joe, who had been homeless and unemployed for over a decade, made his first step towards changing his life and joined Beam – a social impact business which uses crowdfunding to help homeless people train up and get into work.

Joe had worked in construction previously, but needed an additional qualification to get the career job he wanted. So, with an online campaign, he raised £1,132 from 19 supporters in just 5 days to fund slinger signaller training and the equipment he would need.

Joe in training
Joe in training 

Today, with the help of Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) and our specialist job brokerage BuildLondon, Joe is working in his first job since 2003for one of the largest construction labour suppliers, VGC Group, on the Northern Line extension in London.

Chris Dransfield, Programme Director of BuildLondon, commented:

“We’re delighted to have played a part in supporting Joe into work with one of our contractor partners, VGC. Our aim at BuildLondon, in partnership with the DWP and construction companies, is to improve the visibility of and access to, jobs and training opportunities on major construction projects across the Capital. Collaboration with innovative organisations such as BEAM is critical to improving the success of what we do, and we look forward to supporting more BEAM members into careers in the construction sector”

joe in the site office
Joe in the site office

To find out more about our work in the construction sector, please contact us

Lewisham Construction Hub Officially Opened

lewisham construction hub

[Attached pic L-R: Denise Atkinson, Lewisham Construction Hub;  Vanessa Packham, Lewisham Southwark College; Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham; Chris Dransfield, Build London; and Antoinette Roper, BE Group.]


Media release: Thursday 22 February 2018

Ref: MR317

Lewisham Construction Hub officially opened 

Lewisham residents looking for a way into the construction industry can now get support from a dedicated hub which opened on Thursday 1 February.

The Lewisham Construction Hub brings together expertise to help residents find jobs, training, apprenticeships and work experience in the construction industry.

The hub is a new partnership between Lewisham Council, Lewisham Southwark College, Build London and BE Group and is funded by the council and the Mayor of London.

Businesses based in Lewisham will also be able to benefit from a range of services including contract alerts, tendering workshops, advice on employing apprentices and other recruitment needs and a programme of events. Construction employers and developers will also receive support and guidance on apprenticeship levy funding.

Vanessa Packham, Director of Apprenticeships, Employment & Skills, Lewisham Southwark College, said: “We were delighted to be awarded this contract and to be able to work alongside our partners. Our learners need to be supported and this is a wonderful chance to create opportunities that might not have existed. I am very excited about the Lewisham Construction Hub and look forward to reporting on successes from this project.”

Chris Dransfield, Programme Director, Build London, said: “The Lewisham Construction Hub is a real example of what can be achieved with ambition, commitment and collaboration. If you are an organisation interested in  how to engage new apprentices or workers, or you just want to advertise vacancies locally, the central resource provided by the  Construction Hub will now be the go-to place in Lewisham.”

Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “The Lewisham Construction Hub project really matters to local people in this part of London. £2billion of development money is being invested in Lewisham so we could potentially see local people that are trained through the hub involved in future construction schemes. This is fantastic for the borough and for addressing the skills shortage in the construction industry.”

The Lewisham Construction Hub is based at Lewisham Southwark College’s Deptford site and is open from Monday to Friday from 9am–5pm.

For more information visit, or call 020 8314 7748.


For more information contact

Support for Carillion Apprentices and Employees

carillion logo

The BuildLondon team are conscious of the huge impact that the recent announcement of Carillion going into liquidation will have on a significant number of apprentices and thousands of other employees and their families.

As a regional partnership initiative with the Department for Work and Pensions in London, Essex and the Home Counties, we are keen to do all we can to support those affected living in these areas.

We recognise the importance of retaining the skills and experience of Carillion staff working within the construction industry, which in turn will help to ensure the industry continues to thrive and deliver the infrastructure and housing projects so desperately needed across the UK.

Our Mission

We are not a commercial employment agency. Our mission is simple – we are here to help connect local people to major construction projects across London and the South East. We do this by working in partnership with major client organisations such as Tideway, Crossrail and Transport for London and supporting their supply chain contractors to recruit locally.

It is our aim to improve visibility of and access to opportunities arising from major projects, helping contractors to promote and recruit locally and across the region.

Opportunities across London and the South East

By registering with us, you will receive up to date information of the latest vacancies within the construction industry in your local area and across London and the South East.

There are absolutely no charges attached to this support, as the service is provided by BuildLondon in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions.

If you are an employee of Carillion, working in a construction or construction related role, and interested in registering with us, simply follow this link and complete the on-line form;

We look forward to hearing from you.

The BuildLondon Team



Additional support

A number of organisations are offering advice and support to existing Carillion apprentices nationally, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is providing advice nationwide, for further information

Contact CITB via telephone or email for the latest information and guidance;

or visit the website at:

Award Double!

BuildLondon New Civil Engineer Tunnelling Award

Award double for our industry partner @TidewayLondon at the Tunnelling Awards 2017 last week – Health, Safety & Wellbeing Initiative of the Year and the Community Engagement Award!

We were delighted to hear that, this week, our SkillsPlanner and BuildLondon partner Tideway, won the New Civil Engineer Tunnelling Award for Community Engagement. Proud to see Chris Dransfield, our BuildLondon lead, as part of the team receiving the award. Congratulations to everyone at Tideway on this achievement!

New Civil Engineer Tunnelling Award

Open Doors 2017

Book Now for Open Doors 2017! 

Open Doors, backed by Build UK and the Construction Industry Training Board, aims to inspire people about the range of dynamic and exciting careers available in construction by providing an opportunity for people to see behind the scenes at major ‘live’ construction sites and offices across England, Scotland and Wales.

Following the success of last year’s event, Open Doors 2017 will take place from 27 March to 1 April 2017 and Bookings are now available on the Open Doors website at

So whether you are looking for a new career yourself or work with people who might be considering a career in construction, then we encourage you to take a look at the website and register as soon as possible to guarantee your place as spaces are likely to fill up quickly.

There are huge opportunities in construction over the next few years, with thousands of jobs in both traditional trades and managerial roles up for grabs.  Open Doors is a unique opportunity to hear directly from those working across the industry about their careers and experiences.  Visitors will be provided with a tour of the project so that they can experience first-hand the impact of construction on their local and wider communities and potentially take the first step on the road to a successful career in construction.

Last year’s event saw a record 3,000 people visit 138 construction sites across England, Scotland and Wales.  Open Doors 2017 is being delivered with support from the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and Construction News.  Over 35 diverse projects have already registered to open their gates so far in 2017 including Multiplex’s 22 Bishopsgate in London and Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and Bouygues UK’s Pembroke Learning Campus in Wales.  More sites will be added in new locations over the next few weeks.

You can find out information about the full range of sites currently available and book a place at