Sadiq launches Construction Academy

​The Mayor of London has launched a new Construction Academy, which aims to help people acquire the skills they need to access jobs in the capital’s construction sector.

The Mayor 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.

Sadiq 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.

There is a looming skills shortage in London’s construction sector, which is threatening to drive up costs and delay developments. There are also still concerns around Brexit and the future status of EU workers, who currently account for around a third of London’s construction workforce.

Fulfilling his manifesto commitment to work with schools to improve careers advice, the Mayor also announced today a £1.4 million extension to the London Enterprise Adviser Network (LEAN) – which matches volunteer business advisers with school leaders to help them offer better careers advice and work more closely with businesses. This will triple the size of the existing Network meaning up to 700 volunteers will work with at least 470 schools and further education colleges across London.

The Mayor’s Construction Academy has been developed with the support of construction employers, industry experts and skills providers to ease the shortage of skilled construction workers. Rather than a single centre, the Academy is a network of construction skills providers across London which will work closely together and with construction employers.

The Academy is partly funded through the London Economic Action Partnership’s (LEAP) Growth Deal with central Government, which included £8 million allocated to the programme. The Mayor committed to publishing the Strategy and launching the Academy in his manifesto.

A Mayor’s Construction Academy ‘quality mark’ has been created to identify high-quality construction skills training provision. The Mayor today 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.

Later this year, quality-marked providers can also apply for investment from the LEAP’s Skills for Londoners Capital Fund to develop state-of-the-art construction skills training facilities.

Last April, the Mayor announced he would invest £114 million in equipment and facilities at London’s further education colleges and other skills providers, delivered over the next four years through the Skills for Londoners Capital Fund.

Of this, up to £88 million will be available from this summer through the LEAP – with £7.2 million ringfenced for the Mayor’s Construction Academy Capital Programme for providers already quality mark accredited.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq 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.”

The Strategy places social mobility, inclusion and diversity at its heart, focuses on post-16 technical and vocational education, adult education and employment support, and considers pathways from school into further learning and work.

The Strategy also aims to tackle the fact that women, young Londoners, disabled Londoners and those from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are under-represented in the labour market.

In particular, it addresses how the capital can take advantage of the devolution of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) to the Mayor next year. This will see the Mayor take direct responsibility for investing around £300 million each year in providing adults in London with the skills they need, including basic digital, English and maths skills, as well as English for speakers of other languages (ESOL).

It will also help City Hall to make sure that funding is better focused on meeting need and achieving outcomes for Londoners and London’s businesses, enabling the Mayor to support greater social mobility.

Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Matthew Ryder, said: “London is one of the world’s leading economic centres, while also being a hotbed for innovation, creativity and design. This means there are tens of thousands of exciting job opportunities for young Londoners. As Deputy Mayor for Social Mobility, it is my job to ensure that everyone, regardless of their background, is able to access these roles.

“The expanded London Enterprise Adviser Network will connect even more schools with London’s employers. This will help to ensure that all young Londoners can build the networks they need to lead successful and fulfilling lives.”
Human Resources Director at Redrow Homes, Karen Jones said: “The announcement of the first construction training providers to be awarded the quality mark is an important and exciting milestone in the establishment of the Mayor’s Construction Academy.

“The development of the Academy will help London’s construction sector access the skills it needs to deliver the capital’s housebuilding targets and to train the workforce in new and emerging construction techniques.”

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