Aiken PR

The Briefing

BCT programme provides pathway to employment for young people

by Aiken PR



Belfast based training company BCT has received funding of £10,000 from the National Lottery Community fund that is enabling the organisation to provide construction skills training for 10 young people through a bespoke Pathways programme that will help meet market demand.

According to Fiona Bailie, managing director of BCT, the Pathways programme is providing critical new skills to young people in north Belfast as Northern Ireland moves out of lockdown.

“The National Lottery funding gives us the capacity to deliver a programme through which young people are learning new skills in an informal setting in which they can feel comfortable and build confidence, giving them the best chance of succeeding in the workplace.

“At BCT we take a holistic approach to training meaning that, in addition to gaining practical skills in construction, participants benefit from mentoring and support along with the opportunity to link in with sport and recreational activities that build social competencies.”

With the construction industry and society reopening, demand for skilled construction workers is rising with the most recent Federation of Master Builders State of Trade Survey for Q1 2021 showing that 38% of builders in Northern Ireland are struggling to hire bricklayers (up from 22% in Q4 2020) and 34% struggling to hire carpenters/joiners (up from 23% in Q4 2020). The Pathways programme provides an introduction to bricklaying, joinery and painting and decorating, giving participants the opportunity to try out each and perhaps determine which they would like to take forward.

Ms Bailie says that BCT’s approach to training provides employers with the confidence that young people coming out of the Pathways programme will not just have a grounding in practical skills, but will also have the soft skills necessary for them to thrive in the workplace.

“In order to find employment young people very often need guidance that goes beyond learning the practical skills of the trade,” she said. “They need support in soft skills too, like time management, communication and teamwork, in order to prepare them for the world of work. In providing this support, our Pathways programme produces dependable and responsible workers who are ready to learn.”

The Pathways Programme is delivered in collaboration with Ardoyne Youth Club.

“Joining with Ardoyne Youth Club in the delivery of this and other programme improves our efficacy as it provides the opportunity for participants to socialise in a safe and productive environment while they get a taster of the trades they might want to take forward.”

The funding received by BCT is part of a £6,850,708 package of funding to 141 projects providing vital support to families and communities across Northern Ireland.

Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Director of The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

 “We’re delighted to announce funding to 141 organisations across Northern Ireland. From the very smallest to the largest, these projects are using National Lottery money in different ways to support people of all ages, families and diverse communities to re–build and re–connect.

“We support charities, community groups, and people with great ideas – large or small. We want to talk to anyone who has an idea or wants more information on funding to support their community. National Lottery players can be proud to know that the money they raise is making such a difference.”

Further information about the Pathways Programme can be found on the BCT website.