A new training centre for housebuilders was launched at the Elephent and Castle by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on 8 September.
Southwark Construction Skills Centre opened at Elephant Park, at the heart of a 11.33-ha, £2 billion scheme incorporating Trafalgar Place, One The Elephant, West Grove and South Gardens. The project is expected to deliver almost 3,000 homes, more than 50 shops and restaurants and a new park by 2025.
Training up to 1,000 people each year, the skills centre is made up of seven modular buildings located at the entrance to the Elephant Park site. Along with classrooms, it includes a building workshop and an outdoor training yard.
It is the result of a partnership between Southwark Council and developer Lendlease, which are also working together on the development.
“We know how important it is that we tackle the skills shortage in the construction industry,” said Khan.
"It was fantastic to meet London’s future homebuilders and I am now even more determined to push on with a pledge to lead a new skills agenda for London. That means actively investing to open up new opportunities for young Londoners to make sure together with businesses they get the skills they need to help build the new and affordable homes London so desperately needs."
Councillor Peter John, leader of Southwark Council, added: "With our own commitment to building 11,000 new council homes as well as the regeneration schemes on Elephant and Castle, Canada Water, Old Kent Road and Aylesbury, we are seeing a significant level of construction work in the borough over the coming years, which is why Southwark has created this innovative centre that will train local people to take advantage of the jobs being created on their doorstep through these regeneration programmes."
Lendlease has already employed almost 500 Southwark residents on the Elephant Park scheme, and the project is expected to drive forward the economic development of the area, creating more than 6,000 jobs.
A new website for the local community, which explains the council's plans for the regeneration of Old Kent Road, has been launched