Housing minister wants industry to help homeless into building careers

Ahead of World Homeless Day, Eddie Hughes reveals plans to connect construction firms with ‘alternative giving’ charities.

Eddie Hughes wants to link up construction companies with ‘alternative giving’ charities that support homeless people into new careers.

Speaking ahead of World Homeless Day on 10 October, the housing and rough sleeping minister told CM he had recently made donations to Beam, an organisation which crowdfunds new job opportunities for homeless men and women.

“Through Beam, you have a range of options for helping people, some of whom are looking to get into the construction industry,” Hughes explained. “But there are barriers to entry, such as the training required for a CSCS card, for example, or buying your own PPE for your first day on a site. These are all significant barriers for homeless people.

“One of the great things about construction is people can enter at one level and then progress once they have a degree of confidence.”

Eddie Hughes MP

“So I have made a couple of donations to help people get a start in the construction industry through Beam.”

Hughes, who was asset management director at YMCA Birmingham before joining parliament, plans to do more work connecting Beam and other job brokerage organisations with the construction industry, alongside ministers from the Department of Work and Pensions.    

“One of the great things about construction is people can enter at one level and then progress once they have a degree of confidence through college learning,” he said. “We can fund that training through an organisation like Beam.”

Hughes also feels modular technology is another way the construction industry can help homeless people rebuild their lives. He recently supported the launch of SoloHaus, a new modular housing product launched by the Salvation Army and Hill Group to support people experiencing homelessness. The homes are designed to Future Homes Standards and have running costs of less than £5 a week.

“We know people from low incomes have fuel poverty and these energy-efficient modular homes are cheaper for them to occupy, which also links to our net zero commitments,” Hughes explained. “The homes can be built quickly on small pockets of land that bigger developers might not be interested in.

“It’s a great example of how the construction industry’s problem-solving ability can be used to help a societal issue.”

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  1. A very good idea Mr Hughes, but it must be noted that sadly there can be mental health issues with homeless people and construction sites can be by definition potentially dangerous places to work despite the best interests of all concerned so a lot of care and attention will be required to address any issues that could arise.

  2. Hi Eddie Hughes
    I wold like yo know where all the homeless live whilst learning to build
    The cost of PPE and CSCS is only a fraction of the living costs.

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