The government is to enlist employment agency Job Centre Plus in the fight against skills shortages in London.
The agency is to group all the construction staff on its books in a single database, and is to direct new jobseekers towards the sector.

It is understood that workers with difficult backgrounds, such as former prisoners, will be encouraged to train and put themselves on the database.

The scheme, to be launched on 10 May, will try to get recruits signed up to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme in an attempt to cut the time it takes them to begin work on site.

A pilot is under way for more than 1000 workers on the site of the £1bn Paddington basin regeneration development in central London.

Ali Humberstone, business development manager with Job Centre Plus, said the "job bank" would hold information on the work employees have completed in one part of London for a contractor, and could be used as a reference for another contractor in another part of London.