Skills for Life

Life Skills help us to deal with the demands and challenges of everyday life.

We introduced Life Skills training to all our courses in 2016. We wanted to provide more holistic support to our young trainees and complement the practical construction skills they were learning.

Our research shows that trainees who can understand and use life skills, together with educational skills and qualifications, are more likely to find and stay in work.

Trainees take part in discussions, group exercises and individual reflective activities on topics including:

  • Knowing yourself
  • Communication
  • Relationships
  • Decision-making
  • Growing up
  • Preventing and living with HIV
  • Substance use
  • Reaching my goals

We know that many of our trainees come from challenging backgrounds.

“This is really evident in one of the exercises we take our trainees through” explains Build It Senior Community Development Officer, Jones Samwenda.

“It is called the River of Life. They have to try to think about their life as a a river – what shape it would take, the bends and turns, the major events and milestones.

The exercise is a chance to reflect on what they have gone through and what they hope for the future. It really highlights the challenges and lack of opportunities that so many have already faced in life.”


We want the Life Skills training to build confidence and self-belief, to help new ways of thinking and solving problems.

The sessions have been further developed to include more on work preparedness. This helps trainees get ready for both their work placements and future employment. It supports them with organisational skills (including time and financial management), CV writing and job searching, as well as preparing for interviews.

All these skills are key in helping trainees to build themselves a brighter futures.