Mayor of London launches construction academy

7 June 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

Sadiq Khan

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has officially launched his new Construction Academy in the capital.

The opening yesterday is aimed at boosting the number of skilled workers needed to tackle London's housing shortage.

Khan plans to deliver 116,000 "genuinely affordable" homes by 2022 but has warned that the ambition could be undermined by a skills shortage in the construction sector.

Rather than being based at a single site, the Construction Academy, developed with the support of employers and skills providers, is a network of construction skills providers across London, which will work closely together and with construction employers.

It has been partly funded through the London Economic Action Partnership's (LEAP) growth deal with central government, which included £8m allocated to the programme.

Speaking at King's Cross Construction Skills Centre, 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."

Meanwhile, a Mayor's Construction Academy 'quality mark' has been created to identify high-quality construction skills training provision.

Those skills providers with the quality marks will join councils, housing associations, house builders and construction firms in being eligible to bid for funding to coordinate skills training with employers' needs, as well as engaging with local schools to promoted construction careers.

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