New Construction Academy to boost skills for Londoners

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More Londoners will be able to acquire the crucial skills they need to access jobs in the capital’s construction sector as the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, today (6 June) officially launched his new Construction Academy

Khan also published London’s first ever Skills and Adult Education Strategy – Skills for Londoners – which aims to ensure all Londoners have the skills, education and training they need to succeed and help the capital’s economy to thrive.

Khan believes London’s housing crisis is the single biggest challenge facing the capital and risks leading to an exodus of talent, as increasing numbers of young Londoners find themselves unable to afford to live and work in the city.

The Mayor’s Construction Academy has been developed with the support of construction employers, industry experts and skills providers to reduce the gap between the need for more homes and the shortage of skilled construction workers. Rather than a single centre, the Construction Academy will be a network of construction skills providers across London who will work closely together and with construction employers.

The Construction Academy is partly funded through the London Economic Action Partnership’s (LEAP) Growth Deal with central Government, which included £8m allocated to the programme.

A Mayor’s Construction Academy ‘quality mark’ has been created to identify high-quality construction skills training provision. Khan announced which skills providers have been awarded the quality marks and will join councils, housing associations, homebuilders and construction companies in being eligible to bid for funding to better coordinate skills training with employers’ needs, as well as engaging with local schools to promote construction careers.

Khan, said: “London is home to some of the most exciting and dynamic talent but there’s no denying we face a shortage in construction skills and that this is hampering our ability to tackle London’s housing crisis.

“To make matters worse, we risk an exodus of talented Londoners, who could leave the city in large numbers because they can’t afford a good quality home.

“I’m committed to building the workforce of the future – and a key part of this is recognising the best skills providers across the city and using them as exemplars from which others can learn.

“London faces a number of skills challenges and today I have laid out my plans to address these and, in so doing, make London’s skills system the envy of the world.”

Chief executive of Creative Skillset and member of the Mayor’s Skills for Londoners Taskforce, Seetha Kumar, said: “I welcome the Mayor’s commitment to developing a more skilled workforce and creating clearer vocational pathways into employment.  We look forward to working with Sadiq and his team on identifying ways to support the screen-based industries in building a more inclusive workforce and tackling recognised skills shortages.”

Dan Labbad, CEO, International Operations, Lendlease added:

“Closing the construction skills gap is one of the biggest challenges our industry faces and Lendlease is committed to playing its part. Since setting up the Southwark Construction Skills Centre in partnership with Southwark Council and Sigma Group two years ago we have provided construction training for more than 4,000 people. Being recognised by the Mayor of London’s Construction Academy programme is a terrific endorsement and we look forward to working with the Mayor to continue tackling this issue so that we have the skills to build the future that London needs. There are lots of interesting careers in construction for both women and men and it’s an exciting time to begin a career in what is such a varied industry.”

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