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Communities Minister Marcus Jones today joined aspiring construction workers at Camden’s Arlington Centre, the UK’s largest homeless hostel, for the start of a new painting and decorating course. The course is part of a training scheme, run by One Housing, aimed at helping people across Camden learn the skills needed to build a career in housebuilding.
Thousands of new homes are needed in London every year and the construction industry is facing a shortage of the skilled workers needed to build homes. Lloyds Bank recently revealed that finding enough skilled workers is the “biggest challenge” for a quarter of housebuilding firms.
Many of the trainees on the course have experienced homelessness and are looking to build a new life. The training covers skills including painting, finishing and clean-up methods. One Housing’s employment and training team, based at Arlington, is also preparing to launch a broader five day construction skills course in March, which is open to local residents. One Housing confirmed that there are still a few places available on this course but that they are filling fast.
Communities Minister, Marcus Jones, said:
“One person without a home is one too many, which is why we are increasing central funding to tackle homelessness over the next four years.
“We are determined to ensure that anybody who needs help into accommodation gets it and, in addition to having a secure place to live, we also want people to have better access to skills to help break the cycle of homelessness.
“Arlington has a long history of providing essential support to London’s homeless and the work of their employment and training centre, helping people off the streets and back on their feet is truly inspiring.”
Group Director of Housing Care and Support at One Housing, Kevin Beirne, said:
“As an active developer of high quality housing, we know how important it is to have skilled people building the new homes that are the only way to solve London’s housing crisis. It was great to show the minister how we take people out of homeslessness and train them to build London’s future.”
The building course is provided by a partnership between One Housing, which runs Arlington and Camden Council. One Housing’s training team has helped over 1,000 people learn new skills over the last two years and over 350 people have been directly helped into a new job.
Arlington provides a pathway out of homelessness that is respected across Britain. Training schemes are a key part of helping residents out of homelessness and into independent living.
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