The mayor of London Boris Johnson and paymaster general Matt Hancock have both backed the #loveLIVES campaign, urging construction firms to pledge their support.
Boris Johnson urged the construction industry to rally behind the campaign, which has raised £230,000, but needs to raise a further £170,000 to save the Building Lives social enterprise.
The mayor said: “With major schemes in progress across the capital to build thousands of new homes, helping young people into construction apprenticeships has never been more important.
“I am delighted to support this campaign so that we can help drive the skills and opportunities Londoners need to excel.”
Mr Hancock, the former skills minister who was made a Cabinet Office minister in last week’s reshuffle, sent a message of support before last Friday’s general election.
He said: “I would urge all construction firms to consider backing this important initiative by Construction News [and partners] and play their part in ensuring the construction industry has the skills and apprenticeships it needs to thrive.”
The #loveLIVES campaign seeks to raise £400,000 by 1 June in order to stave off the threat of closure from Building Lives, the organisation that trained around 25 per cent of construction apprentices in London last year.
All money raised is ringfenced in an education fund controlled by the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, which pledged £50,000 towards #loveLIVES at the start of the campaign.
The campaign was started by Construction News, KPMG and the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity.
Building Lives is the award-winning social enterprise that recruits young people from some of the toughest boroughs in London and equips them with skills to gain paid apprenticeships in the construction industry.
The organisation takes young people, some of whom have been homeless, drug addicts, involved with gangs and unemployed, and gives them the tools to forge successful careers in the construction industry.
Earlier this year Building Lives lost an important chunk of its key funding, which has impacted 200 learners.
Its new funding model, to be in place from September, will allow Building Lives to deliver up to 860 apprentices each year.
Building Lives can more than double the number of apprentices entering the construction industry in London. But it needs your support.
The London Evening Standard also reported on Construction News’ campaign in its Friday edition.