Birmingham trainee quantity surveyor commits to inspiring future generation

With unemployment rates in Birmingham reaching twice the national average, one young man from Lee Bank is dedicating his time to help local 16 to 24 year olds struggling to overcome the demoralisation and lack of confidence it can cause. Having landed his dream job as a professional quantity surveyor with construction consultancy, Gleeds, Muhammed Mbye has now become the youngest contributor to the newly founded Birmingham Youth Partnership (BYP).

Chaired by local businessman Anthony McCourt and led by Margaret Way of Birmingham City Council, BYP has been set up to tackle youth unemployment in Birmingham. As part of the public-private partnership, Muhammed has coordinated focus groups to help identify the barriers 16 to 24 year olds face when it comes to finding a job.

Faced with the challenges of unemployment and unwilling to be beaten by circumstance, Muhammed signed up to a mentoring scheme managed by the Birmingham Leadership Foundation (BLF) last year. Through the charity, which aims to help young talent succeed with the right connections and opportunities, he met property developer and youngest winner of the Birmingham Young Professional Award, Anthony McCourt.

Muhammed explains: “Anthony’s support and encouragement helped me secure a two week work placement with Gleeds and a month later they had offered me a permanent job.

“Although the year prior was really hard going at times, the help that I received from BLF and local businesses has completely transformed my situation. I want other people who are facing the same challenges I did, to know that help is at hand.”

Gleeds Director for the West Midlands, Lindsay McCombe, said: “I was immediately impressed by Muhammed’s determination to change his personal situation for the better. I think it’s easy to overlook the motivational barriers unemployment brings with it – whatever your age – and I’m thrilled to see him sharing his experience and advice to help others overcome what he has.”

BYP members plan to launch a programme of activities in response early next year.