By Daniel Hunter

£2 million worth of funding has been committed to a new scheme focused on helping to cut the shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry in London, according to Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

The scheme will help by providing training, work placements and the support to help 500 unemployed construction workers get back into work.

New figures have revealed that an average of just under 1,300 new skilled construction workers will be required in Greater London every year through to 2019 in order to fulfil the industry’s order book. That means around 6,450 new workers in total will be required over the five year period (2015-2019).

Today (Monday) the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) announced a new partnership with the London Enterprise Panel to work on providing a programme of skills and training activity tailored specifically to meeting the needs of the construction sector in Greater London.

The construction industry is playing a key role in boosting the capital’s economy and the Greater London funding will be allocated to five core areas of development that include:

- Supporting 500 unemployed construction workers to return to work.

- Developing a shared work placement pilot for 100 people who are not currently in employment, education or training.

- Developing specialist business development interventions for 700 participants from small construction businesses.

- Providing support to support London Boroughs that are interested in adopting the CITB’s National Skills Academy for Construction’s and Client Based Approach schemes.

- Understanding the potential for researching the development of co-operatives between small construction businesses.

The Mayor of London and Chair of the London Enterprise Panel, Boris Johnson, said: “Cranes can be seen on the skyline of every corner of the capital and the construction industry needs thousands of new workers every year to keep pace with demand. It is a fantastic time to start work in that sector and we intend that this scheme will help provide Londoners with the necessary skills to do so.”

Janette Welton-Pai, CITB Sector Strategy Manager for Greater London said, “We’re delighted to announce the start of the Joint Initiative in Investment scheme for London and have been working very closely with the London Enterprise Panel over the last few months to agree on its objectives and scope.

“It’s an ambitious and unique programme but most importantly it implements a new approach to addressing skills and training needs. We have been using intelligence from both organisations to help identify the region’s specific requirements and closely map out local priority needs. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to skills and it’s particularly important in the current climate to ensure that any training or up-skilling undertaken is relevant and purposeful."

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