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Prime Minister reveals plans for construction National Skills Academy

Plans for a National Skills Academy for construction, based at the site of London’s Olympic Park, were revealed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday.

Speaking at the Thames Gateway Forum exhibition, Brown said the academy would include 1,000 job placements and 500 apprenticeships on London 2012-related projects.

"Full details will be set out in January but the Academy will provide at least 1,000 job placements for people enrolled on local further education construction courses, 1,000 other training placements for local people, and more than 500 apprenticeship places," said Brown.

"It will also help local residents get jobs on site, meeting our aim that 10 to 15% of the Olympic Park construction workforce come from the five local boroughs."

The Prime Minister also announced that the Government will launch an Institute for Sustainability to develop sustainable methods of design and construction.

"A study published by the Environment Agency has concluded that if we take the right action, it is technically possible to build 160,000 new homes in the [Thames] Gateway while creating no overall growth in demand for water," said Brown.

"To help us achieve these environmental aims, we will be establishing a new Institute for Sustainability which - together with the Institute of Urban Renaissance - will lead the way in applying new green standards to construction and urban design."

Brown's announcement followed the publication of the Government’s spending plan for the Thames Gateway between 2008 and 2011, which included £500M for regeneration and £100M for local transport improvements.

It also promised an announcement in 2008 on the redevelopment of junction 30 on the M25. The spending plan calls this interchange with the A13 "the biggest remaining constraint to development in the Thames Gateway".

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