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Homeless young people working for NVQs on renovation project

Young people from a Birmingham homeless project have had the opportunity to become construction apprentices on a major renovation project involving their own accommodation.

Two young people from the Ravenhurst Cottages homeless service have already started their training on the remodelling work of the Grade II listed buildings, which were built in the 19th century as almshouses.

The construction is taking place over four phases, so as to allow for residents to remain living there, and will see the 33 bedsits transformed into 24 self-contained flats and a permanent training workshop for the residents.

The two apprentices who have already started work – 19-year-old Peter Clarke and 22-year-old Daniel Lansdown – will have the chance to learn specialist skills in an area of their choice, such as joinery, bricklaying, plumbing and painting and decorating, and will study for an NVQ Level 3 qualification in the speciality.

Gary Clarke, who is the Birmingham service leader for Ravenhurst Cottages’ parent charity, Trident Reach, said that the work they are being given the chance to do is very valuable for the charity and will go a long way to improving their future prospects.

“The apprenticeships are challenging but have really helped get the lads motivated – they get up early, do a day’s paid work and feel tired at the end of it, but they get an enormous feeling of achievement,” he explained. “As well as being good for them and their employment prospects, that sense of pride in their work has also encouraged other customers here to get active, do something useful and focus on what they would like to do in the future.”