Last updated: 07.04.15

London mayor's aide admits skills shortage is a 'worry'

The lack of skilled construction workers has been flagged as a worry for London by the mayor Boris Johnson's closest aide.Speaking at London First's Infrastructure Summit, deputy mayor for policy and planning Sir Edward Lister, highlighted the need for training in the construction sector, as well as pointing out that the skills shortage "does worry us immensely"."Jobs are going to people from outside London or outside the UK. I am one who believes the current model is broken in providing the skills we need as a city."The industry is changing and our system at the moment is not creating people with the skills we need," Sir Edward stressed."We have got to move away from a system where kids choose courses, to one where providers are paid based on the jobs kids get when they finish the course," he added.At the same event, Terry Morgan - chairman of Crossrail - said that it wouldn't make sense for London to invest in infrastructure, but not in the provision of training to fulfil the required skills.He commended the government's move of asking contractors to show their dedication to skills and training in order to pre-qualify for major infrastructure projects from the start of this month.Mr Morgan also highlighted the fact that Crossrail's latest £15 billion project has involved taking on more than 420 apprentices, 40 per cent of whom weren't in employment, education or training prior to the project.Sir Edward concluded by stating a need for Boris Johnson to be assigned with more tax collection and administration powers in order to secure funding for any future infrastructure investment.Virtual College's Construction Services E-Academy specialises in the development of construction training to help workers maintain and develop their skills. For more information, please visit: