The Paviors’ Charity Committee originally set up the London Highways Academy of Excellence in 2014. Recently, this has been re-branded as the London Construction Academy to reflect the wider aims of this education and training initiative. The Academy aims to meet the longer-term aims and objectives of the Company by providing work-experience, training and apprenticeships for the hard-to-reach in London’s boroughs who are not in employment, education or training.
There are many young people living in London who are low-achievers. Those not in employment or education may have access to training but, too often, this does not convert into a job. This can be a difficult group of people to engage with: most have faced huge challenges in their young lives and need nurturing and encouragement to take those first steps to independence.
The Academy is now in its third year and, during this time, had awarded 128 Bronze London Passes. It had been estimated that there was a social value return of £9 for every £1 invested in the Academy. Seventy-five per cent of those found work after the course were still in employment, which was a much greater proportion than on government-provided schemes. Some graduates had now gone on to obtain further qualifications.
In 2016. the Academy won an award for Inspiring Change in the Community from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association. Funding and support from the Paviors is crucial to the success of the Academy. but more offers of apprenticeships and job-opportunities for graduates are needed.