Construction employers unite to help address skills shortages across the capital

The Construction industry came together today to pledge its commitment to establishing a Pan-London Construction Career College.


The new Career College for 14-19 year olds will provide industry-led, quality-assured training programmes aligned to the needs of construction employers. It is being designed to address the clearly-identified skills shortages being experienced by construction businesses across London.

The focus for trainees will be on key construction trades, which have a huge demand for skilled workers including (but not limited to): Structural Frame and Building Envelope, Carpentry (industrial-scale), Green Technologies, Building Control Systems and Temporary Works.

The Career College concept focuses on preparing young people for work and fulfilling careers. This new model, bespoke to the construction industry, will enable an employer board to drive the delivery of relevant training and enthuse young people about the many career opportunities available.

The project is being spearheaded by Grant Findlay of Sir Robert McAlpine and the Career Colleges Trust.

An event to launch the project took place at the House of Lords this morning, hosted by Career Colleges founder, Lord Baker. It was attended by a number of representatives from the construction industry including Carillion and Ethos.

Speaking at the event, Lord Baker said:

“The construction industry, like many other sectors, is facing severe skilled labour shortages. I am delighted by the positive and proactive approach here in London, not only to address this skills gap but to offer young people a range of exciting career opportunities.

“I hope other employers and indeed other industries will follow this lead and play their part in helping to improve the skills and education of the nation.”

Also speaking at the event was leading employer and driving force of the Pan-London Construction Career College, Grant Findlay of Sir Robert McAlpine. He urged employers to get involved and commit support to the project:

“The Construction Industry is experiencing a major skills shortage and we all need to play a part in addressing this.


“Major developments are planned in London over the next few years but these will simply not be able to happen if we do not see a large injection of skilled labour. This future workforce must be trained to industry standards and in the new methods that enable projects to be completed quickly and to a high quality.

  “I have seen businesses having to turn work down or even refusing to tender for new projects due to concerns about recruiting quality staff. This should not be happening.

  “Our planned Pan-London Construction Career College will help address these issues and provide us with the pipeline of skilled talent that we are all in need of. I urge you and your company to get involved by providing your time and/or resources to this exciting project. Ultimately this will help safeguard the future of our industry.”


Career Colleges were launched by Lord Baker in 2013. There are now 13 open around the country (with three more opening in 2017), specialising in a range of industries which are facing skills gaps – ranging from hospitality and healthcare to digital and engineering. The aim is to help ensure we have a skilled future workforce in these industries, whilst providing young people with new and interesting pathways into fulfilling careers.

Career Colleges are driven by employers, who help design and deliver the curriculum. This ensures that students learn industry-relevent skills and techniques, meaning they are work-ready on completion of their courses.

The Pan-London Construction Career College will work range of London and south east region colleges and training providers to develop its offer.

Ruth Gilbert, CEO of the Career Colleges Trust says:

  “Our Career College model is very flexible, in order to meet the needs of different industries. The pioneering Pan-London Construction Career College is an excellent example of employers taking the lead and coming up with an education delivery model that will effectively train their future workforce. It will also offer some incredible career opportunities to young people at a time when we are seeing rising youth unemployment.

“Most young people and parents I talk to associate construction with low- skilled work and low pay. This could not be further from the truth. Construction is driven by modern technology, skilled professions, and great pay for great skills. It’s time to re-think perceptions and learn about modern methods of construction. ”




For more information about the Pan-London Construction Career College and the Career Colleges Trust, please contact Sarah Newman on 07779 719199 [email protected]

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