Be Onsite: transforming lives through sustained employment

Be Onsite is an award winning charity which provides jobs, training and opportunities within the construction industry for local people, ultimately leading to sustained employment in the sector. We talked to Val Lowman, who founded Be Onsite with support from Lend Lease in 2007, about the opportunities the charity is providing for local people at Elephant & Castle.

“Be Onsite is dedicated to supporting people to make a positive change in their lives by helping them start a new career within the construction industry. We believe that the best way to learn is on the job, so we dedicate time and support to provide tailored training and on-site opportunities that lead to sustained employment and careers.


“At Elephant & Castle we have provided jobs and training to local residents, covering a wide spectrum of positions – from entry level trade jobs through to office based roles and trainee construction managers. We will be releasing figures on how many local people have gone through our programme later in the year.


“The programme is designed first of all to offer choice to people looking to begin a new career, so we start by working closely with individuals to establish which specific role would be right for them. Our aim is to help them embark on a new career, not just find them a job for now, so it’s essential that we offer a wide range of  roles and match each person with something that suits them and will lead them on to long term opportunities.


“Once a position has been established, we put all employees through bespoke training programmes to equip them with the right skills needed before they begin the job itself on-site. All of this is done within a caring and supportive environment.

“Our commitment doesn’t stop there; after an employee has completed the scheme we continue to offer the emotional and practical support needed to ensure they are ready to start and sustain their career.


“Our aim at Be Onsite is to give our clients the right skills and on-the-job experience needed for work within the construction industry, and also the confidence to pursue their chosen career. We facilitate the transition period between what may have been long term unemployment and a sustainable career.”

“We do this through our Be Onsite delivery model:

Select – We seek out and identify individuals willing to make a real commitment to turning their lives around.

Skill – We provide industry-specific training to ensure our employees get the skills they need.

Employ – We give our employees employability training, on-the-job experience and find them a suitable position.

Support – We combine our training with emotional and practical support to help our employees stay on track.

Sustain – We provide the right skills and prolonged support to help our employees build sustainable careers.


Val continues: “We believe our work in Elephant & Castle is absolutely integral to the regeneration process, supporting local people to find sustainable careers whilst simultaneously providing the property industry with the skilled workers it needs. The development in the area has thrown up a range of fantastic opportunities and we’re delighted to find local people to fill those roles.”


If you are looking for support to get back into employment or would like more information on Be Onsite, visit the website at