The London Development Agency is to fund a study that could lead to the establishment of a construction skills academy in the capital.
Consultant Ecotec will examine whether an academy is needed to deliver the government’s housebuilding programme in the Thames Gateway.
The study, which will be released in September, will conclude whether the gateway needs a centre on the scale of the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence in Rainham, Essex, which fulfils a similar training role for engineers.
Ecotec will discuss the proposal with all the higher education institutions in the area. It will also talk to developers and councils to assess the skills shortage.
A spokesperson for the LDA said: “Ecotec is doing an options appraisal for us. It may report back that there’s no need for an academy, or it might say the academy should be virtual.”
Another option would be to teach courses in existing colleges such as the University of Greenwich and the University of East London.
The sustainable communities plan in the Thames Gateway has helped to put construction skills at the top of the government’s priority list. The plan requires 90,000 houses to be built in the area by 2016.
London mayor Ken Livingstone has been asked to explain why the LDA more than tripled its budget for consultants from £3.3m in 2002/03 to £13m last