Southwark Construction Skills Centre Moves To Canada Water

Posted Mon, 19th July 2021 Author Adam Sheppard Read Time 5 mins

  • After five successful years working with constructor Lendlease at Elephant Park, the community-centred training facility is moving to Canada Water
  • During its time at Elephant Park, Southwark Construction Skills Centre has trained more than 10,000 local residents and helped create 3,000 jobs

Southwark Construction Skills Centre (SCSC) is moving from its original base at Elephant Park, to a new home at Canada Water.

SCSC has been at the site in Elephant Park since 2016 and has been supported by major contractor Lendlease in providing training and upskilling to those interested in a career in construction. During this time, SCSC has contributed £40million in social value to the local economy, training more than 10,000 residents, and helped to create more than 3,000 jobs in the construction sector.

Now the community-centred skills and training centre, supported by Southwark Council and run by The Skills Centre, is set to move to its new home at Hawker House, Canada Water in April, in support of the British Land Canada Water Masterplan.

Jon Howlin, Managing Director of The Skills Centre, which runs SCSC, said of the move: “The aim was always to move the training facility to support additional projects in Southwark and this is the first move it has made since opening in 2016 – and we’re hugely excited about becoming a meaningful part of the community at Canada Water.

“It has been 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 – we’ve simply had the best experience.

“The Skills Centre now looks forward to doing the same again for the community at Canada Water.”

SCSC will be offering the same opportunities at Canada Water as it did in Elephant Park, with employment prospects, apprenticeships and pre-employment training for local residents, as well as continuing its schools’ programme; inspiring Southwark school children to consider the varied jobs on offer through a career in construction.

The move is a joint initiative between The Skills Centre, Southwark Council, British Land, and Art Invest.

Councillor Rebecca Lury, Southwark Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Business & Jobs, said: “Thousands of our residents have walked through the doors of Southwark Construction Skills Centre at Elephant Park to receive expert training and support, with many going on to secure real jobs at sites across the Borough.

“With a 20-year programme of construction work at Canada Water, one of the Council’s largest regeneration schemes, this is an ideal location for creating an exciting training venue for our residents. I’m excited to see SCSC and The Skills Centre go from strength to strength, with the help of new partners British Land and Art-Invest to create opportunities for residents from across the Borough.”

Canada Water Masterplan is a joint initiative between Southwark Council and British Land, working closely with Art-Invest, to develop a 53-acre scheme that will deliver workspace to accommodate around 20,000 jobs, retail, leisure, entertainment, education and community spaces. There will be around 3,000 new homes, of which 35% will be affordable, as well as 12 acres of open space and a new town centre for Southwark; the first new town centre built in London for more than 100 years.

Symon Bacon, Development Director for British Land, said of SCSC supporting the Canada Water Masterplan: “We’re delighted to contribute bringing the Southwark Construction Skills Centre to Canada Water. The Centre will provide a local front-door and resource of information, training and guidance for residents interested in accessing some of the many construction employment and training opportunities that the Canada Water Masterplan will generate.

“We know there is demand and interest locally, and we’ve already been able to support several local unemployed residents into training and roles with our enabling contractors. We look forward to working closely with The Skills Centre to maximise the number of residents from the local area and wider Southwark growing their skills and being part of delivering the Canada Water Masterplan.”

Construction of the new centre in Canada Water will begin in April, with a planned opening on June 21st. Opening hours will be from 8.30 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday, with community-based activities planned for Saturdays.

Ali Abbas, Managing Director and Head of UK at Art-Invest Real Estate said, “We were drawn to Canada Water due to its thriving community and a real sense of opportunity, which we have been eager to both experience and support first-hand since we committed to the gateway Canada Water Dockside site neighbouring the wider Canada Water Masterplan in July 2020.

“Through extensive meetings with the local community, albeit virtually, we have heard how much of a positive difference the Construction Skills Centre makes to Southwark and how this will truly benefit Canada Water residents in the future.

“We are thrilled that we have been able to contribute to such a key commitment early on as we look to provide a further 10,000 jobs in our development of Canada Water Dockside. We very much look forward to working further with Southwark Council, British Land, The Skills Centre and local residents in advancing the Borough’s post-pandemic recovery.”

Local residents will also have access to a digital library, basic digital training as well as the use of computer equipment, which will all be free. The centre will be run in a Covid-safe way, with Covid safety training also provided.

If you have any questions about the construction of the SCSC, or if you have any enquiries about the new training opportunities at Canada Water, please don’t hesitate to call 0203 621937 or email