Centre will train 2,000 more tradespeople each year to help deliver major projects in the UK capital

A new centre for the National Skills Academy for Construction is being opened today at the National Construction College's east London campus, to aid delivery of the 2012 Olympics and other major projects in the capital, such as Crossrail.

The centre, at Thames House in Newham, will provide 2,000 training places a year in trades such as plant maintenance, concreting, formworking, steel fixing, flooring and highways maintenance.

Funding for the centre has been provided by the Learning and Skills Council, the London Development Agency and ConstructionSkills, as well as the five London boroughs working with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to host the Games – Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

Tessa Jowell
Jowell: "giving people the chance to capitalise on these job opportunities by giving them the skills to work on the Olympic site"

Olympics minister Tessa Jowell said: “As the 'big build' on the Olympic park progresses a whole variety of skills will be needed from steel fixing to electrical trades. With the workforce for the Olympic park and Olympic village expected to peak at 11,000 in 2010, Thames House is giving people the chance to capitalise on these job opportunities by giving them the skills to work on the Olympic site.

“This training will not only help drive up employment in the five host boroughs and beyond but will also open up the construction industry to new workers other than the 'traditional' builder.”

Skills and apprenticeships minister Lord Young, said: “I would like to congratulate the board of the National Skills Academy for Construction, ConstructionSkills and all the employers and local authorities who are supporting the academy. The new training site is good news for the construction industry and the people of London.”

The latest ODA figures show that of the 4,100-strong workforce at Olympic park, one-tenth are trainees, apprentices or on a work placement, and a further one-tenth were previously unemployed.

Two further construction training centres are planned for east London, including a new base for the Plant Training Centre, which move from the Olympic Park site to the Royal Docks.