The government’s latest attempt to tackle the shortage of homegrown tradespeople is to be unveiled next week when Alan Johnson, the education secretary, opens the first National Skills Academy for Construction.

The “academy” is not a conventional college. Instead it will be formed from a network of temporary training centres attached to large projects. The minister is to launch the scheme at Bovis Lend Lease’s £240m Bishopsgate project in London

The academy has been developed by training body CITB–ConstructionSkills in partnership with the industry, and is one of three projects in the first wave of the government’s industry skills academies programme.

The construction academy aims to open 30 sites over the next five years.

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.

The academy has the support of major contractors such as Meridian Delta, Bovis Lend Lease, Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Birse, Mowlem and Kier.