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New ‘Skills Centre’ set to open on Station Road in Edgware

A new Skills Centre is opening soon on Station Road in Edgware. It will serve as a hub for locals pursuing careers in construction and the built environment. Funding and delivery come from Ballymore (Broadwalk Shopping Centre owners), Places for London (TfL’s property company), and The Skills Centre (an employer-led training provider).

The centre, opening this spring, will offer various training opportunities: pre-employment training, dry-lining apprenticeships, retrofit and green skills bootcamps, SMSTS, and SSSTS courses. It’s open to anyone interested in construction careers, whether starting out or advancing. As Edgware Town Centre regenerates, more career options will emerge, benefiting hundreds locally.

Before its official opening, the Skills Centre is already impacting Edgware. The fit-out provides locals and students with valuable skills and hands-on experience.

Simon, a 25-year-old Hendon resident, applied through Barnet Council’s Care Leavers scheme and gained carpentry and electrical skills during the fit-out. He obtained his CSCS Card, plans to gain further qualifications, expand his skills, and eventually start his own business.

New 'Skills Centre' set to open on Station Road in Edgware Harrow Online
Edgware Broadwalk Shopping Centre.

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 Tarik, 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.” Tarik 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.

New 'Skills Centre' set to open on Station Road in Edgware Harrow Online
Edgware Skills Centre. Image: Ballymore

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”