The ability of London to train workers to build the 2012 Olympic venues is under threat after it emerged a key training facility is to be demolished to make way for a secondary school.
Students from the Building Crafts College (BCC) in Stratford, east London, will be forced out from specialist workshops as part of a Building Schools for the Future scheme. The college, which neighbours the Olympic site, had been earmarked as a training facility for workers on 2012 projects and the Thames Gateway regeneration project.
Students from the college, who must move out in December, will transfer to a prefabricated building in Plaistow with a lease of five years under Newham council’s New Deal For Communities programme.
The new site is half the size of the 700ft2 centre used now and it is not known if the students will find a permanent residence.
The BCC uses the centre to run adult multiskilled courses in partnership with East Potential Housing Association. About 300 students each year sign on to do the 16-week courses.
Each year about 100 14-year-olds from other schools in Newham also use the facilities for day-release work.
Mohan Chana, general manager of the BCC, said: “It’s sad, because we worked very hard to get that centre together, and it’s been set up for that particular purpose.”
It’s sad, because we worked very hard to get that centre together
Mohan Chana, BCC
Newham council said its Life Long Learning Service was helping the college finalise the details of the new lease.
However, in a more positive training development, it emerged this week that employers have stepped forward to provide 1,375 more apprenticeships in the past month.
ConstructionSkills has filled about 4,000 positions with employers, in comparison with the 3,500 it had at the end of August. It is currently matching a further 875 employer vacancies with apprentices.
It needs about another 1,375 vacancies to hit its target of 6,250 apprentices this year.
The news came during National Construction Week, when ConstructionSkills held an awards ceremony to celebrate the construction GCSE results from the first intake of students.
For more on ConstructionSkills, search www.building.co.uk/archive