B4Box is an integrated construction training provider and retrofit specialist, working in areas badly affected by fuel poverty, to make homes more energy efficient and create green jobs.
Since its launch in 2008, B4Box has combined multi-trade, skills training, such as joinery, plastering, tiling and roofing, with the guarantee of employment to deliver a wide range of high quality, low-carbon, construction services.
The Greater Manchester-based organisation focuses on recruiting local people, particularly those who face challenges finding work, and supports them in gaining vital skills.
Warming homes, changing lives
This programme of work offers a solution to help tackle the huge task of upgrading the UK’s ageing housing stock to make it more energy efficient, reduce household bills and carbon emissions.
The retrofit work includes insulation, rendering and brickwork repairs and draughtproofing, as well as replacing old windows, doors, kitchens and bathrooms.
There also remains a significant skills shortage in the green building sector which B4Box is helping address. To date, the business has trained over 120 apprentices and carried out more than 400 property upgrades.
Michael Dickinson, director at B4Box, said: “The multi-trade skills apprenticeship goes above and beyond the qualification requirements. This approach provides benefits to B4Box as an employer, but more importantly to individual apprentices to enhance their skills-sets and their longer-term career prospects.”
The company, which employs 79 people, has developed an innovative and progressive partnership with social landlord Stockport Homes Group (SHG) over the past decade which guarantees work for trainees.
The training mainly focuses on the delivery of three-year multi-trade skills apprenticeships and typically consists of one day, off-site, in B4Box’s learning centre with four days spent working on-site. Information on health and safety and customer service is also covered by the course.
Their accredited training scheme, which has a 96% completion rate, has helped unemployed people, single mothers, teenagers excluded from education and those leaving the prison system. Trainees must live within five miles of a construction site to be eligible, ensuring that their skills training delivers benefits to local communities.
Over 85% of trainees come from communities underrepresented in construction that face significant barriers to gaining qualifications and employment. B4Box works with schools, probation services and employment teams at SHG as part of the recruitment process and provides ongoing personal support to keep trainees engaged with the qualification programmes. Around 80% stay in full-time employment with the company after completing their training.
On-site, B4Box can deliver up to 90% of the work of a whole house retrofit project with only two staff in addition to one or two apprentices. The multi-trade skills training is important in tackling the traditional single-trade approach to make homes fit for the future as it can significantly cut costs and save time.
John Bowker, Executive Director of Operations, SHG, added: “B4Box are our key construction partner and their objectives of being more than a housing provider by also transforming lives and adding social value align with our values plus the quality of the work carried out is exceptionally high.”
27 October 2022
Energy Access Skills
Greening All Work
T: 020 7410 0330 E: firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Peak, 3rd Floor 5 Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1AP
Registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee.Registered number: 05062574/ Charity number: 1104153
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