New Initiative Brings Community and Ecological Construction Together

Apprentice Jackson Torr, the Mayor of Wandsworth Cllr Nicola Nardelli, and Darren Bolger

Darren Bolger, MD of London Building Specialists, with over 20 years experience in the industry, has been pioneering apprenticeships for disadvantaged young people since 2011. This initiative, designed initially by him for the DWP and JCP gives under 25-year-olds the opportunity to access the construction sector, working with professional companies and offers them the chance to build their future, resulting in long-term vocational careers within the building and construction industry.

Now the scheme is being expanded to include training in environmentally-friendly construction, and the apprentices are going to be housed in their own local authority accommodation. Each apprentice will be trained in both traditional working methods, and advanced ecological materials.

London Building Specialists do top level conversions and refurbishments

London Building Specialists do top level conversions and refurbishments

Darren Bolger says, “The apprenticeship schemes offers young people work on projects within their communities. We have previously formed partnerships through community link building, and we will now provide the necessary mentoring to deliver long-term strategies, work and continued progress to all apprentices under our scheme.

“Under the accreditation umbrella of A.C.E (Academy of Construction Excellence) scheme, builders, construction companies and personnel will be offered building projects in their own localities, driving construction to local and community levels, thus economically strengthening each community and offering young people in the area work and training and long-term vocational prospects.”

The Mayor awrding Darren Bolger for services to the community

The Mayor awarding Darren Bolger for services to the community

Wandsworth Mayor Nicola Nardelli supports the scheme and awarded the ‘Badge of Honour’ for “services to the community” to Mr Bolger. There are ambitious plans to convene a summit of all the 32 London Mayors in the spring to roll out the project capital-wide.

A further angle to the project is The Home Club, an online platform giving consumers the ability to receive full trade discounts on fixtures, fittings and equipment normally only available to the trade. The Home Club members can obtain these price reductions directly. Half the profits generated will be directed into managing and running the apprenticeships. Darren Bolger says, “I wanted to put something back into both communities and the industry, by giving young people the opportunity for vocational training, so they can build a solid career in the construction industry, and learn the best practices, which involves approaching every project with the environmental impact in mind.”

The Apprenticeship scheme is open to applications from London-based under 25s from all backgrounds. More details are here: experts in superior loft conversions, extensions and refurbishments, which emphasise quality build and environmental materials in their construction.

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