I wrote last month about the public’s perception of big business and how company failures and funding disputes reflected badly on the construction industry.
But I also wrote about how perceptions could utterly change if one such business failure or funding dispute could be resolved.
Today, Building Lives is threatened with closure.
This is an organisation which provides support to an industry that is constantly exploring ways to address skills shortages and a negative public perception.
Ask anyone what their primary concern is as the industry continues to grow, and they will tell you a lack of skills is the biggest obstacle to growth.
“We ask for your help in supporting an enterprise which is doing its utmost to help young people find a future in this industry”
And so today, Construction News is proud to launch a campaign in partnership with the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and KPMG which looks to secure the short-term future of an organisation bringing young people into this industry and helping to improve the industry’s image and perception.
Building Lives needs £400,000 to be raised in 50 days in order for almost 200 young people to carry on their training, not to mention the 37 staff it employs.
Reaching this target will be no mean feat, at a time when construction businesses are still struggling.
But the £50,000 offered by the Lighthouse charity is a phenomenal starting point and we have already received a great deal of private sector interest.
As a critical friend to the construction industry, it was right for Construction News to report on the funding threat to Building Lives last month.
It is right for us to hold the industry to account and to investigate when issues arise that affect the livelihoods of those who work in it.
But the flip side is that we recognise how Construction News can use its reach to try and become a part of the solution.
As construction firms continue to face difficulty recruiting young people into the industry, letting an organisation that exists solely for that purpose fail, would be, as KPMG head of infrastructure Richard Threlfall says, “a catastrophe”.
Today we ask for your help in supporting an enterprise which is doing its utmost to help young people find a future in the construction industry.