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Council leader opens construction skills centre at Canada Water

6 January 2022

Southwark residents joined Cllr Kieron Williams and Cllr Jason Ochere as they opened the brand-new home of Southwark Construction Skills Centre at Canada Water.

A jobs fair marked the official opening of the centre’s new home at Hawker House. Residents heard about the many career-related opportunities available with major developers including British Land, Art-Invest, Keltbray, Mace, Wates, Galldris and McAleer & Rushe.

The Southwark Construction Skills Centre is joint initiative from Southwark Council and The Skills Centre. It now sits at the heart of major development work within Canada Water as part of a new collaboration between the Skills Centre, the council, British Land and Art-Invest. Given the high level of construction in the local area and at sites across the borough, there are many opportunities to learn new skills, gain experience in the construction industry, and seize fantastic job opportunities.

The Skills Centre moved to its new headquarters from Elephant Park, its base for the last five years. During its time at Elephant and Castle, the centre:

  • trained more than 10,000 people
  • helped create more than 3,000 construction jobs
  • contributed around £40 million in social value to the local economy.

Through its employer-led approach, the centre has now established itself as a leader in London for construction skills training.

Cllr Kieron Williams, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “I was delighted to celebrate a new chapter for Southwark Construction Skills Centre bang in the centre of one of London’s largest development sites. We need to make sure our residents have the best opportunities to make the most of the benefits this work brings, especially job creation. I look forward to seeing the centre continuing to build on its brilliant success at supporting residents into training and jobs within the construction industry.”

Cllr Jason Ochere, cabinet member for business, jobs and town centres, said: “The Construction Skills Centre has been a huge asset for our borough since it first began in 2016. Now it's set to continue its fantastic work at a new home in Canada Water. There has never been a better time to get work or training in construction. I’d encourage any local resident looking for work or just for a chance to improve their skills, especially young people, to drop into the Skills Centre for a chat with the team.”

Director of Southwark Construction Skills Centre, John White MBE, said: “Southwark is surrounded by many major construction projects at the moment, and our mission at Southwark Construction Skills Centre is to unleash the potential of those people who have never considered a construction career before and get them their first position and a foothold on that career ladder.”

Jon Howlin, Managing Director of The Skills Centre, which runs SCSC, said of the move: “It was an honour to work with the Elephant Park community and to help so many people learn new skills and train to gain great jobs in the construction industry. The Skills Centre is now doing the same again for the community at Canada Water and we are already seeing so many people within the area successfully completing their training programmes, and going on to develop great careers for themselves within the construction industry.”

Page last updated: 06 January 2022