New Carillion partnership with VIY starts in Stockport

Tuesday 2nd August 2016


Carillion, the integrated support services business, and Volunteer It Yourself are partnering for the first time on a new project in Stockport with a view, moving forward, to linking apprentices at Carillion’s 13 construction skills training centres across the UK with local VIY project sites.

VIY involves young people volunteering to help fix local community buildings such as youth clubs, community centres and grassroots sports clubs in need of repair and renovation, while Carillion is the UK’s largest trainer and employer of apprentices in the building and construction sector.

Starting in Stockport, the aim of the new link-up between Carillion and VIY is for Carillion apprentices to volunteer at VIY project sites, including serving as peer mentors for other VIY participants with no past experience in trade skills. At the same time, graduates of VIY projects will be directed towards apprenticeship and other training and employment opportunities with Carillion.

The VIY project in Stockport involves a team of 12 young people, including five apprentices from Carillion’s Manchester construction skills training centre, and four mentors (professional tradespeople) working to refurbish/repurpose an old high street retail space and, in the process, create a new¬†community cafe and a hub for local social enterprise start ups.

The seven non-Carillion participants include two care leavers and an ex-young offender, all of whom will gain an Entry Level City & Guilds qualification on completing the project. The building being refurbished was previously an office used by Stockport’s Youth Offending Team so it’s come full circle with an ex-young offender now helping to transform and revitalise it on behalf of the community.

The project is being run in conjunction local community organisation Shopmobility and is co-funded by Stockport Council.

As with all VIY’s partnership work with councils/local authorities, the aim is to enable Stockport Council to make significant savings on the building renovation works required while also achieving hard ‘added value’ education, training and employment outcomes for young people.

Cospa founded VIY in 2012 and the scheme has since grown from one project in south London to 100 locations across England and Wales. VIY is now a CIC (Community Interest Company) and Cospa continues to provide cross-sector partnership development services to the CIC.