• New Skills Centre to provide a base for construction and STEM skills in Edgware

New Skills Centre to provide a base for construction and STEM skills in Edgware

New Edgware Skills Centre set to come to Station Road, located in the former Argos unit on Station Road and delivered by a partnership between Ballymore, Places for London and The Skills Centre

The Skills Centre, opening in spring 2024, is already making an impact with local care-leavers and apprentices from Barnet Southgate College involved in the fit-out

The new centre underlines Ballymore and Places for London’s commitment to growing local skills as part of the proposed regeneration of Edgware Town Centre

A new Skills Centre will soon open on Station Road in Edgware and will provide a base for local people seeking to embark on a range of rewarding and varied careers in construction and the built environment. The Skills Centre has been funded and delivered by Ballymore (owners of the Broadwalk Shopping Centre), Places for London (Transport for London’s property company) and The Skills Centre (an employer-led, community-focused, training and apprenticeships provider). The hub will be a focal point for growing local skills and talent, taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the proposed regeneration of Edgware Town Centre and beyond.

New Skills Centre to provide a base for construction and STEM skills in Edgware

The centre, which is set to formally open its doors in spring this year, is designed to offer a diverse range of training opportunities, including pre-employment training, dry-lining apprenticeships, retrofit and green skills bootcamps, Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) and Site Supervisor Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) courses. The doors will be open to anyone interested in a career in construction and the built environment – whether as part of their first step into the sector or in order to progress their career. As the proposed development progresses in the future, the centre will support an ever-increasing range of exciting career options, with hundreds of local people benefitting from training and job opportunities. 

Ahead of its official opening, the Skills Centre is already making an impact in Edgware, with the fit-out of the unit presenting a unique opportunity for local residents and students to gain important new skills and develop hands-on experience. 

One such individual is Simon, a 25-year-old Hendon resident who applied to work on the fit-out through Barnet Council’s Care Leavers scheme. This followed a Construction Information Day, hosted by Barnet Council, Rothwell Interiors and Places for London, which aimed to support young and disadvantaged people in the borough into work experience and job opportunities. Simon, who lives in foster care, has gained vital new skills through the project from carpentry to electrical skills. The role has given him the necessary experience to obtain his Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Card and he’s looking forward to using his experience as a springboard to gain further qualifications, continue expanding his skills and eventually start his own business. 

Speaking about his experience, Simon said: “The construction skills and experiences I’ve got here are really valuable. Not only are they helping me get the necessary qualifications I need to build my career, but they’re also practical skills that are helping me become more self-reliant and save money at home.

“A lot of young people might not see construction as a career path they want to take as it takes time and effort to build the skills you need, but if you’re patient and work hard, it can change your life.”

The Skills Centre has also provided opportunities for Andre and Tariq, students at Barnet and Southgate College. They are taking part in work placements on the site, balancing the practical experience on-site with their Level 3 electrical installation courses. The two students have been working on the site two days a week, learning new skills and understanding how a busy commercial site works.

As Andre notes: “Construction is a great stepping stone to challenge yourself and build a career.” Tariq agrees with this, adding: “I want to be a master in one skill, but get experience in everything. so I can futureproof my career. The experience here’s been great for that - I can do a bit of everything and it helps you understand where you see your future.”

Building on The Skills Centre’s expertise in training skilled workers for the construction industry, the centre has been set up to look to the future of Edgware as Ballymore and Places for London prepare to submit their outline planning application for the comprehensive regeneration of The Broadwalk Centre site and neighbouring land. The wider plans will see £1.7billion invested in Edgware, adding £80m Gross Value Added (GVA) to the local economy and creating more than 1,400 full-time jobs. 

Ballymore and Places for London’s wider masterplan for the site proposes to deliver 3,365 new homes, including up to 1,150 affordable homes, and 463 student accommodation spaces. A significant increase in green space for the town centre includes a new Deans Brook Nature Park, which is to be created by unlocking land which has been inaccessible to the public for almost 100 years.

In advance of the proposed development coming forward, the Edgware Skills Centre will be key to providing the next generation of workers with vital skills, particularly across the built environment and sustainability sectors.

Simon Ryan, Ballymore’s Developments Director said: "The Skills Centre exemplifies the potential of underutilised high street spaces. The team has been doing great work in other locations delivering quality courses and qualifications that respond directly to demand. Their insight into what the market needs, now and into the future, gained by partnership working with developers like us and Places for London delivers huge value to their students. 

“Whether you're looking to find a path to your first job, or looking to make a change in career, The Skills Centre has a lot to offer. We're thrilled they've chosen to partner with us in Edgware and look forward to seeing them grow and expand their services over time."

Lisa-Jane Risk, Head of Operations at Places for London, said: “Through the opening of the new Skills Centre in Edgware later this year, we’re helping people across the city take the first steps into the construction industry as well as support them into the next stage of their career. 

“The new Skills Centre at Edgware will play a vital role in creating new opportunities for those looking to gain skills in the construction and built environment sectors. It will build on our existing range of programmes, including other Skills Centres, that have led to more than 5,000 people receiving training since 2020, with more than 2,000 of those already having found employment.”

Jon Howlin, Chief Executive of The Skills Centre said: “We are looking forward to bringing local opportunities to residents, contributing not only to the Edgware Town Centre development but also fostering a skilled workforce for the broader prosperity of Barnet. The new Edgware facility will underline our commitment to matching skills training to real opportunities with local employers, ensuring that our programs align with the needs of the job market.”

John Bryson, Welfare. Employment and Skills Programme Manager at the London Borough of Barnet said: “With more than 6,000 jobs ringfenced for local people and well over 500 apprenticeships in the pipeline from live developments alone, the scale of opportunity for local residents is off the scale. Working with partners including Barnet and Southgate College, The Skills Centre will be a focal point to promote careers in the construction sector, and provide a unique and essential route for local people to gain the skills needed to secure jobs and apprenticeships.”

Stephanie Ejiogu, Industrial Placement Officer at Barnet Southgate College said: “The Skills Centre in Edgware is already providing invaluable opportunities for our students, helping them to gain the essential hands-on experience on working sites that cannot be replicated remotely. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with the Skills Centre, Ballymore and Places for London, to empower more people from more diverse and varied backgrounds to get the skills they need for a rewarding lifelong career in construction and STEM”

Anyone interested can get in touch via The Skills Centre website, for guidance on how they can help match your skills to local employment opportunities.


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