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February 2015

Issue 35


Crossrail and the Metropolitan Police got together to run an ‘Exchanging Places’ event at the London Bike show

Building Lives: how to motivate apprentices


If you haven’t heard about it before,

Building Lives is an organisation

worth looking at. Go to the website

and watch some of the films about

the work it is doing. I guarantee you

will be inspired.

Building Lives was set up in 2010

by Steve Rawlings , who until

October last year was CEO of

Lakehouse. I first came across them

on a project in Tower Hamlets

which was struggling to keep any

apprentices: they either didn’t show

up at all, couldn’t get out of bed, or

just didn’t want to be there. Then

Building Lives came on the scene

and provided candidates who were

willing and eager to work.

Building Lives’ strategy is to give

people from underprivileged

backgrounds a 12-week

construction and work ready course

before they go on site. And it works!

So far the organisation has set up

nine academies around London

and plans to expand outside the

capital to other parts of the UK.

These articles have been

written for

Industry Image


Kristina Smith


Freelance construction

writer and editor.

For more information, visit