• Sadiq to commit a total of £114m funding over four years
  • Investments will help transform skills provision in the capital

Dozens of projects to boost skills and training for Londoners across the capital have been awarded a share of £25.7 million funding by the Mayor, Sadiq Khan.

On 7 February Sadiq announced the investment to build a workforce for London’s future, as part of a total pot of £114 million available over four years through his Skills for Londoners Capital Fund – which aims to transform the capital’s skills provision by delivering 21st century, fit-for-purpose education and training facilities at further education colleges and other providers across the city.

The London Aerospace and Technology College in Bromley – a joint project between London South East Colleges and London Biggin Hill Airport – received £6.4 million to expand technical training across aviation and aeronautics, while Barking and Dagenham College received £5 million to complete its Centre for Advanced Technologies, which will provide training in electrical engineering, digital technologies and the creative industries.

Other successful projects from the initial funding round include a learning hub focused on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and health care at Newham Sixth Form College, advanced simulators to develop nursing skills at London Cactus College in Edgware, and a programme to boost digital, gaming, music and creative skills in communities including BAME young people at Big Creative Education in Walthamstow.

The £114 million has been made available by the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), which is the Local Enterprise Partnership for London and is chaired by the Mayor.

Sadiq has been clear that London’s skills provision should respond to the needs of businesses and should equip Londoners for the demands of the economy in the future, including a range of technological and digital skills.

Last May, Sadiq launched Skills for Londoners, a programme aimed at giving all Londoners the opportunity to train in the skills needed across the economy. The Skills for Londoners Taskforce, a group drawn from London’s top skills and business experts, was set up to spearhead these efforts.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s economy is changing and I’m determined to lead by example when it comes to helping build the workforce of the future in the capital.

“These projects are great examples of how innovative institutions can deliver the skills which will increasingly be in demand as London grows and changes over time.

“The increase of globalisation and automation in the workplace brings both challenges and opportunities and we are addressing this head on through our Skills for Londoners Strategy.

“We are also making the case to the government for London to have greater powers and resources in this area, so we can help ensure all Londoners have the opportunity to train in the skills the city’s businesses need.”

Member of the Skills for Londoners Taskforce and CEO of Creative Skillset, Seetha Kumar, said: “London’s screen industries are world leaders in creativity, with a growing demand for skilled entrants and diverse talent. The Mayor’s initiative will make a real difference by investing directly in the digital skills London needs to stay globally competitive in the future.”

LEAP Board member, Dr Celia Caulcott, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside the Mayor to invest in learning spaces and equipment to boost skills in the capital. Ensuring more world-class learning environments that reflect the realities of the world of work will help Londoners of all ages and backgrounds develop the skills they need to access employment and maximise their potential.”

Chair of London South East Colleges, Stephen Howlett, said: “We’re planning to develop an £11 million Aerospace and Aviation College at Biggin Hill airport – and this will now become a reality. We are extremely grateful to the Mayor of London for backing the project, which will help to address the expanding skills shortage within this exciting industry.

“Young people in Bromley and further afield will benefit from first-class industry training, helping to develop the next generation of aircraft engineers and technicians. This will provide tangible and exciting career pathways, while supporting the region’s economic development and growth.”