Build Up Earns National Praise

Build Up's Claire Breen and Roberta Austin with HRH The Princess Royal

Published: Tuesday 22 July 2014

Build Up, run by Blackpool and The Fylde College, has won national recognition for its highly successful training and employment programme. It was hailed as the leading ‘education, training and employment’ programme in the country by winning the Howard League for Penal Reform’s Community Programme Award.

Build Up achieved its recognition above all other programmes nominated for the award which is aimed at encouraging public and government support for successful community sentences.

The project has helped more than 3,500 people find jobs. The programme which started in January 2008 targets unemployed adult residents from the most deprived wards in Blackpool. Most of those undertaking the programme will have had chaotic backgrounds but Build Up has gone from strength to strength successfully placing people into gainful employment whilst instilling employability skills into all their learners.

Roberta Austin MBE who manages Blackpool and the Fylde College’s Build Up Centre said:

“I accept this award on behalf of my amazing team. We all work extremely hard for our learners. The very best schemes in the UK are honoured by the Howard League and I am delighted that our project is amongst them.

Daryl Platt, Executive Director of Commercial Delivery, Blackpool and the Fylde College added:

“The College is very proud that the programme delivered by the School of Construction has received such recognition. This team is key in enhancing the skills of the labour market in the area and reducing unemployment.”

Contractors who work with the Build Up programme were quick to offer their praise and congratulations.

Paul Rigby from Forrest in Bolton:

“Roberta and her team at Build Up are incredible. Their enthusiasm and dedication is commendable and this award is highly deserved.”

Baz Howard from Howards Decorators in Leyland, Lancashire:

“Build Up is a fantastic programme. The workers that they produce are vetted and ready for business. I can’t put into words how grateful I am for this programme and Roberta and her team who go that extra mile for both the contractors and the learners.

The awards were presented by HRH The Princess Royal at the Howard League’s Community Sentences Cut Crime conference in London.

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