Bovis Lend Lease’s 201 Bishopsgate and Broadgate Tower project is chosen for first training site

Education secretary Alan Johnson today launched the national construction skills academy in London, declaring that 2007 would be “the government’s year for skills.”

The minister launched the skills academy at Bovis Lend Lease’s 201 Bishopsgate and Broadgate Tower project near Liverpool Street, where the first training site will be based. The government plans to have a network of at least 30 training sites on major projects over the next five years, which will together act as a construction skills academy.

Launching the project, Alan Johnson said: “It is important for social progress that the workforce has the skills it needs, and skills academies are one of the most important projects involved in achieving that. It’s not just about schools and universities - 2007 will be our year for skills and further education.”

Skills minister Phil Hope said that he was “delighted” that the construction academy was among the first three industry skills academies to be launched. He said: “I particularly like the impact this will have on regeneration. Local people will be getting training opportunities and access to apprenticeships that they wouldn’t otherwise have had.”

The construction academy, which will be part funded by government and part byemployers, has been developed by training body CITB-ConstructionSkills in partnership with the industry. Its target is to create at least 10,000 local jobs through apprenticeships by 2010, and to facilitate the awarding of 100,000 NVQs at levels 2 and 3 to experienced workers.