Thanks to the YouthBuild project, Julius Debrah started a new life and career in the construction industry. When the pandemic hit, Julius had to sign up for Universal Credit – now, six months after graduating from the programme, he is a trainee dryliner.

He has become a valuable member of his employer’s team, learning vital skills in the process and is now looking forward to a long and exciting career in construction.

What is the YouthBuild project?

The YouthBuild (YB) project delivers construction skills-based courses for those aged between 18 – 29 who are not in education or employment.

It equips young people with the skills, mindsets and support needed to succeed in the workplace. The Finishes & Interiors Sector (FIS) are working with YB as part of the CITB-funded Build Back project to encourage young people to work in their sector.

Careers in this part of construction are rewarding and well-paid – they include jobs such as plasterers, dryliners, ceiling fixers and more.

To find out more and get involved with the project, contact

Julius’s journey

Julius, along with some of his family, moved to the UK from Ghana when he was 14 years old. They already had firm roots in the UK – he moved here to join the rest of his family who had already settled in well and were working for the NHS. Julius spoke very little English but was well supported by his school, who helped him settle in.

Julius attended Bexley Business Academy and decided to stay on for 6th form. However, when he came to leave school, as with many other of his friends, he found it difficult to find the right career path. Despite support from family and friends, he was unable to get his foot in the door with the right employer.

When the pandemic hit, Julius had to sign up for Universal Credit; fortunately, his work coach at the local Job Centre Plus spotted an employability opportunity with YouthBuild UK. 

Julius enrolled and successfully graduated from the programme in July 2021 and received commendations for his positive work ethic and his determination to succeed. He did so well he managed to land himself a role with MPG Contractors as a trainee dryliner.

Julius has this to say about the YB project and the start of his career in construction:

“I am really happy with my placement and working in construction,” he said. “Construction is a great industry to gain new opportunities and experience, but most importantly, I can earn lots of money!

I would recommend working in construction to everyone – and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the YouthBuild project.

My favourite thing is waking up early and getting stuck in – I’m an early riser so I love getting involved in lots of different projects. I’m excited to see where construction will take me. I’m most proud of being able to earn enough money to help my mum pay her bills.”

And what about the future?

“I would like to learn more about construction as a whole and see where it can take me. One day though I would like to become a site manager.

His employer is extremely impressed with him and is already a valued member of their team. And by working in construction, he will have plenty of opportunities to progress and take his career where he wants it to go.

Charles Richards, Head of Youth Development at YouthBuild, had this to say about Julius:

“Julius was a very kind-hearted and ambitious young individual who enjoyed great successes on the YouthBuild Ventures Bootcamp programme. Julius demonstrated great passion for the construction industry as well as showing great leadership throughout his journey.

His efforts whilst on programme led to a successful placement as a Dry Lining Trainee. We are extremely proud of Julius and wish him all the best for his future.”


If you would like to become like Julius, check out our Interactive Careers Map to see the many opportunities available in construction.