Willmott DixonScape Procure


Access to opportunities

Lives Not Knives (LNK) began in 2007 when 14-year-old Eliza Rebeiro started a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime. Today, it’s a fully-fledged organisation that runs a wide range of initiatives to encourage young people into education, training and employment.


We are Croydon Council’s partner for education projects throughout the borough, and have been helping young people from LNK to access opportunities in the construction industry.

We created the Construction Traineeship Scheme specifically for this purpose, based on its own management trainee placements. The scheme includes over 100 hours of work experience per student, tailored to their preferences, and covers a variety of trades and skills.

The programme caters for those who need the most support and who might not otherwise have access to such opportunities, for example careleavers and refugees who already find themselves struggling to take those crucial first steps towards developing sought-after skills, and finding meaningful employment opportunities.

The partnership held a ceremony at Braithwaite Hall in Croydon in November 2016, to honour candidates completing the trainee programme. This was also a great opportunity for Willmott Dixon and LNK to explain how and why it works so well, and for participants to share their personal journeys.

“Learning practical skills on Willmott Dixon’s sites have worked really well for these young people, and Willmott Dixon has kept them all enthused and engaged. They provided a mentor for each pupil, plus help on site with revision and
training for their Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards.”

Monique Rebeiro,

LNK Chief Executive.

Guest speaker MP Gavin Barwell, the local Minister for Housing and Planning, also shed light on the importance of supporting new talent in construction, and presented their certificates.

In early 2017, a second wave of learners began their Construction Traineeship Schemes at our sites across Croydon. Five more young people from local communities have had the chance to pursue construction careers, with a view to subsequent apprenticeship opportunities with us and our supply chain partners.

At the Women in Construction Awards Assistant Project Surveyor, Sarah Mills, scooped the Rising Star accolade for transforming young lives in Croydon with her LNK campaign.