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Sat April 20 2024

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CITB identifies London skills shortages

24 Jul 17 Annual construction activity levels in Greater London are set to remain at around £30bn for the next few years bringing potential skill gaps in a number of areas, according to a new report.

The study was carried out by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) for the Greater London Authority to inform London’s new Construction Academy Scheme. The findings show a booming market with the greatest activity in housing, private commercial developments, public non-housing and infrastructure.

The report explores potential skills gaps in the capital and examines the construction training on offer across the city. Occupations with the greatest risk of a shortfall include plant mechanics/fitters, scaffolders and bricklayers, steel erectors and roofers. However, London’s tradition of drawing workers in from other regions such as the South East is expected to help reduce skills pressures considerably.

Alongside major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Thames Tideway, the research identified more than 700 big projects that are scheduled up to 2020. They include a £26bn housing and commercial development in Hammersmith & Fulham, a £10bn housing development in Islington and a £3bn town centre regeneration in Newham.

The report suggests the total level of new construction activity each year to 2020 will be similar to the £30bn for 2017 once all projects are confirmed.

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Janette Welton-Pai, partnerships manager, CITB said: “This research provides the insights we need to develop a strategic skills plan for construction in London. The overview of activity will be very useful for the industry and we will be working closely with the new Skills for Londoners taskforce alongside the London Economic Action Partnership and the Greater London Authority to progress this. 

“While it remains unclear how Brexit might impact the workforce, as an industry we need to look closely at training and development across Greater London to minimise risk. The new Construction Academy announced recently will help grow the skills base that’s critical to the success of construction in the capital.”

Jules Pipe, deputy mayor for planning, regeneration and skills, Greater London Authority said: “London’s construction industry is booming and we need workers to fill these skilled positions. The further education and skills sector has a vital role to play in making sure all Londoners can truly be part of London’s prosperity.

“Through the Construction Academy Scheme, we will be giving Londoners the chance to train in the skills that will boost our economy and creating a pipeline of local talent and expertise for construction businesses to tap into.”

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