New £57m LEAP investment to support skills and training in London

03 May 2019

Twenty thousand Londoners are set to benefit from £57.6 million of improvements to training facilities and equipment thanks to investment recently announced by the LEAP Chair, the Mayor of London.

The second round of the Skills for Londoners Capital Fund has committed to funding 17 further education projects in 11 boroughs, a number of which will focus on construction and digital skills, as well as training those with special educational needs and disabilities. Investments range from £150,000 to £10 million.

This latest funding is expected to benefit almost 20,000 additional learners of all abilities and backgrounds, including nearly 5,000 new apprenticeships and 5,000 new work placements.

The funding includes £7.2 million for projects in the Mayor of London’s Construction Academy – an initiative which helps Londoners gain the skills needed to find work in the construction sector and forms part of the Mayor’s wider efforts to help tackle the capital’s housing crisis.

The Skills for Londoners Capital Fund supports the building and refurbishment of training facilities to support skills development, vocational training and adult learning across sectors including digital, health and social care, science and technology and construction.

Successful projects in this funding round include:

  • Future Greenwich and Greenwich Digital Village (London South East Colleges): £10m
    A new centre at their Plumstead campus to deliver vocational training in digital skills, creative arts, health and social care, and motor vehicle technology.
  • The Mary Ward Adult Education Centre East (Mary Ward Institute of Adult Learning): £5.7m
    Providing learning facilities to increase participation in job training for black, Asian and minority ethnic, learners with special educational needs and disabilities, and those on low incomes.
  • Open Learning and Digital Environment (Working Men’s College): £559,000
    Creation of a new open learning centre to provide integrated additional learning facilities and refurbish a library and resource centre.
  • Construct Your Future (The STC Group): £150,000 (Mayor’s Construction Academy)
    A construction training space to deliver apprenticeships and courses tailored to meet demand in the local community and industry needs, including home building.

Applicants have committed £181 million in match funding from other sources, taking the total value of these 17 projects to £239 million.

The Skills for Londoners Capital Fund has a total funding pot of £114 million. £25 million was announced by the Mayor for the first funding round last year. The fund is part of the £324 million Growth Deal secured from central Government by the LEAP.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Ensuring Londoners have the skills and training to thrive in our dynamic economy is crucial for the future of our city. That’s why we’re investing £57 million in helping everyone make the most of London’s opportunities.

“This funding will create high-quality facilities and training programmes, working in partnership with businesses to establish a pipeline of talent for employers both now and in the future.

“City Hall are also committed to ensuring a diverse, inclusive workforce across different industries. That’s why a number of the successful projects aim to increase employment for Londoners who may face barriers to entering the jobs market, including those with special educational needs and disabilities.”

LEAP Board member and Skills for Londoners Board member, Dr Celia Caulcott, said: “We are delighted to work with the Mayor to create training and employment opportunities for Londoners and support London businesses and skills providers.

”By investing in quality learning spaces and equipment that reflect real-world work settings, people of all ages and backgrounds can develop the skills and knowledge they need to access employment in a changing economy.”

London Director of the Association of Colleges, Mary Vine-Morris, said: “If London is to continue to be the world’s greatest city we must continue to prioritise skills and innovation. That’s why we are pleased to see the Mayor’s latest investment to improve the buildings and facilities of a number of colleges and training providers. This capital round was hugely over-subscribed, demonstrating the significant need in the London for investment in creating world class facilities.

“If colleges are to play the role they want to in meeting the city’s skills needs, then issues of adequate funding, both capital and revenue, have to be addressed. This is a very welcome step in the right direction and we look forward to the opportunity to give more of London’s learners and employers the high quality learning experience they deserve.”

Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges, Sam Parrett OBE, said: “We are extremely grateful to both the Mayor and to the Royal Borough of Greenwich for their support in developing our new college. This investment is greatly needed and since we took on the management of the former Greenwich Community College in Greenwich in 2016. This funding will be matched by the College’s own funds, and will enable us to build a new £24 million campus.

“It will be a leading education facility, designed and purpose built to meet the needs of learners for generations to come, enabling the residents of the borough to gain the skills and qualifications they need to progress into higher value jobs and careers in Greenwich and in the wider London economy. We are looking forward to working with our partners to make the new College a reality.”

Principal of Harrow College and Deputy CEO of Uxbridge College, Pat Carvalho, said: “Crucial funding from the Mayor has helped us modernise our facilities and provide industry-standard training at our Harrow Weald campus – our new Health and Social Care Building and our refurbished Learning Centre will support provision for our learners with high support needs.

“This latest funding for our Harrow-on-the-Hill campus will be vital in transforming our learner services, digital, media and English as a second language provision.”

About Skills for Londoners

  • Skills for Londoners helps Londoners from all backgrounds and ages develop the skills they need for employment and assists businesses in accessing the talent London can offer.
  • The latest round of the Skills for Londoners Capital Fund is projected to support:
    • 19,550 additional learners
    • 4,692 additional apprenticeship to start
    • 4,979 additional work placements to commence
    • 40,371m2 of new or improved training floorspace
    • £5.65 million in cost savings
    • 2,359 learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
    • 5,299 people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) into work or training
    • 4,881 additional students progressing to employment 
  • Alongside the main allocation from the Capital Fund, a further £3.75 million has been allocated for a new second Round of the Small Projects and Equipment Fund, which will launch in late 2019 (for more information, see: