Training in building skills to combat housing crisis

Birds eye view of London construction. Pic: Irena Rastegaeva

Lewisham Council has launched a new scheme to close the gap between the high demand for new housing and availability of construction workers.

Two successful bids led by London South Bank University and London South East Education Group for the Mayor’s Construction Academy were approved earlier this year.

The bids are a part of a long-term community project proposed in Sadiq Khan’s Mayoral manifesto in 2016. He pledged to “establish a construction academy scheme with the housebuilding industry”.

The project aims to help local residents get high quality construction training in order to improve their employment prospects.

The Mayor’s Construction Academy will also have a focus on helping under-represented groups, including women and people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities

There will also be help for offenders or ex-offenders to get access to training and employment opportunities to get their lives back on track.

The training will be delivered through Lewisham Construction Hub, a partnership between Lewisham Council and Lewisham College.

Lewisham councillor Joe Dromey welcomed the initiative. He said: “London faces a severe housing crisis. In the next few years, we will be building hundreds of social homes in Lewisham.

“The Mayor’s Construction Academy will help to address the construction skills crisisand will ensure that local people have access to high level apprenticeships.”

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