New Earls Court Skills Centre to provide a base for construction and STEAMMM skills in west London

  • New Earls Court Skills Centre, delivered by a partnership between the Earls Court Development Company, Places for London and The Skills Centre, formally unveiled with ribbon-cutting ceremony.
  • Centre delivered on the Earls Court development site, which has the potential to deliver 12,000 jobs and 2,000 construction jobs.
  • Earls Court Development Company (ECDC) announce their ambition to make the area a showcase for innovation and skills.

Deputy Mayor of London, Jules Pipe, and Hammersmith and Fulham Council Leader, Stephen Cowan, has today cut the ribbon on a new Skills Centre at the Earls Court site. Set up by the Earls Court Development Company (ECDC), Places for London (Transport for London’s property company) and The Skills Centre, the new hub will be the focal point for the extensive talent development opportunities generated by the transformation of the former Earls Court Exhibition Centre site.

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 Earls Court and the wider area, supporting individuals across local communities into a range of roles from construction skills in the short term through to climate tech, creative industries and the wider STEAMMM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, media and medicine) network in the longer term.

The Skills Centre will be a key hub for upskilling and education that will contribute to the wider vision to bring the wonder back to Earls Court. With an inspiring new neighbourhood designed for all stages of life, the plan for the site includes delivering a transformative programme of future-focused skills and training, creating more than 12,000 jobs and equipping the next generation of workers with vital skills, particularly across the built environment and the clean and climate tech sectors (which focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the environmental damage from existing technologies, addressing the impacts of global warming and improving the quality of the natural environment).

Highlighting the scale of the opportunity, which will give access to training for thousands of people over the coming years Rob Heasman, Chief Executive at Earls Court Development Company says: “The Skills Centre enables us to take advantage of the immense opportunity we have here at Earls Court. We will be bringing forward a new neighbourhood, generating significant employment opportunities at every level and responding to the pace of change in terms of environmental awareness. From essential skills across construction and the built environment, to the skills we will need to fulfil our ambition to be a hub for clean and climate tech, the Skills Centre will be central to our plan to deliver the transformation of this fantastic site.”

Earls Court is central London’s largest cleared development opportunity. ECDC has a vision ‘to bring the wonder back to Earls Court’ with a masterplan that celebrates nature, and fosters a centre of innovation and skills as a  new home for climate and clean tech. This cultural ecosystem for developing

future talent will be delivered across an inspiring and inclusive neighbourhood of around 4,000 homes with zero carbon operational energy. 

Rob Heasman continues: “The Earls Court skills centre demonstrates our long-term commitment to the local community, providing future opportunities to Earls Court as part of a strategy which will include plans for supporting creative talent, bringing innovative climate tech to site and establishing a skills pipeline for the whole of London.”

Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills said: “It’s a pleasure to open the Earls Court Skills Centre. This new hub will become a one-stop shop for future skills development in Earls Court, with thousands of training opportunities offered.  

 “The Skills Centre will play a vital role in supporting Londoners train in green skills and get into good careers, which is essential as we continue to build a better, fairer and more prosperous London for everyone.”

Graeme Craig, Director and Chief Executive Officer at Places for London, says: “As well as building places that will help the capital grow and thrive, Places for London is developing the rich pool of talent that is needed to enable this to happen. This new skills centre at Earls Court will play a vital role in this by creating a wide range of opportunities for those looking to join a variety of industries, not least property and construction. It builds on our existing range of programmes that has 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 says: "We are excited to announce the launch of The Skills Centre at Earls Court in collaboration with The Earls Court Development Company and Places for London. Our mission is to transform lives by bringing local opportunities to residents, contributing not only to the Earls Court development but also fostering a skilled workforce for the broader prosperity of West London.

The new Earls Court facility expands our reach to connect with an even larger community and provide a wider range of training. We are committed to matching skills training to real opportunities with local employers, ensuring that our programs align with the needs of the job market.

The centre is designed to offer a diverse range of training opportunities, including classroom qualifications and hands-on skills training in our on-site yard. Our doors are open to anyone interested in a career in construction and the built environment, those seeking opportunities for job progression and, as the development progresses, a wide range of other exciting career options. Get in touch via our website, or simply reach out to our team at the centre for advice and guidance on how we can help match your skills to local employment opportunities."

Michelle Okai, Trainee Surveyor at Mitie Property Services, took part in a recent pre-employment programme at The Earls Court Skills Centre, run in partnership with Women into Construction and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.  

Michelle said, "I knew I wanted to do something with my degree in statistics, but struggled to find the right role. My sister-in-law knew someone who had completed a course at The Skills Centre and recommended it. I was pretty sceptical, I was worried it was only going to be manual labour, I hadn't really thought about what other roles were part of the Built Environment. During the course I was supported by my project manager, who encouraged me to look beyond admin roles and think about Surveying or finance. 

"I'm now a trainee surveyor at Mitie and I like it so much more than I expected. The work is so varied, I can be in the office working on calculations one minute, and climbing scaffolding on-site the next. Now, if I know anyone looking for employment, I recommend The Skills Centre."

Natalia Pirvu, Business Support Manager at Mitie Property Services worked with The Skills Centre to provide work experience for learners on programme, and ultimately recruited Michelle. 

She said "It's difficult to find good, reliable people with the drive to develop their careers. Programmes like this one are a huge help for businesses like ours, they help us find strong, local candidates to work on our projects and build future communities across London. 

"I was astonished at the range of skills and backgrounds the candidates had. The course was brilliant, I was really impressed, and I know Michelle is going to be brilliant too. She's a fantastic addition to the team and we're delighted to have her on board. My only wish is that there were more programmes like this one!'



Notes to Editors:
The Skills Centre is an employer-led, community-focused training and apprenticeships provider, with eight locations around London and the UK. The pre-employment courses offered at Earls Court will be fully funded, to provide key skills and training, as well as a taste of working in the construction industry. The Skills Centre was rated good by OFSTED, with an Outstanding score for Adult Learning in October 2023. The report specifically highlighted the focus on employer collaboration and delivery of skills training matched to local skills demand.

About the Earls Court Site:
The Earls Court site is formerly the site of the former Earls Court Exhibition Centre, located in Zone 1, which was demolished several years ago leaving a largely cleared site It is also home to London Underground’s Lillie Bridge Depot and several buildings and sheds. The whole site of circa 40 acres straddles two London boroughs - the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (LBHF). The Mayor of London has identified the site as an Opportunity Area – an area which will be important to deliver the homes and jobs London needs for the future. In February 2023, ECDC unveiled its draft masterplan to the public.

About the Earls Court Development Company (ECDC):
The Earls Court Development Company (ECDC) is an Earls Court-based business, responsible for driving the regeneration of the 40 acre-site, former Earls Court Exhibition Centre site on behalf of the Earls Court Partnership Limited – a joint venture between Delancey (on behalf of its client funds) and the Dutch pension fund manager, APG and Transport for London (TfL) that was formed in December 2019.

In February 2023, after over two years of discussion and engagement with local communities, ECDC presented the emerging designs for the masterplan for this largely derelict, 40-acre site in Zone 1. A further phase of consultation is planned to launch in November 2023, with a hybrid planning application planned to be submitted in summer 2024.  The draft masterplan invites the public to discover wonder through four key priorities: culture, innovation, nature, and neighbourhoods. It proposes:

  • An inclusive community which brings existing and new neighbourhoods together through an approach which works in partnership with communities now and in the future.
  • A landscape led development, transforming the Table deck over the rail lines in the centre of the site into an open space larger than Trafalgar Square alongside parks, squares and gardens which prioritise access to nature and green spaces.
  • A showcase for clean & climate tech innovation and skills with 2.5m sq ft of commercial space from start-up to scale-up to HQ.
  • Over 4,000 homes in an inspiring neighbourhood designed for all stages of life, targeting 35% affordable across all tenures.
  • An east-west link that will open up the site for the first time in 150 years, accessed through a new entrance square opposite Earl’s Court station that will retain and celebrate the historic steps to the Exhibition Centres.
  • A cultural ecosystem for the future of talent with a variety of new cultural venues, programmes and curated spaces.
  • 12,000 new jobs in a new economic centre for West London, and 2,000 construction jobs during the build period.
  • A plan that delivers for London and the UK, projecting £1.2billion per year GVA to the economy and £100million of annual spend into the local economy.

The site is 40 acres, with the total scheme set to deliver around 680,000 sq m (7.35m sq feet) of development. 60% of the site is unbuilt, maximising the opportunity for open space and for nature to thrive. ECDC’s proposals are for a truly mixed-use scheme of around 60% residential and 40% commercial, culture, community, and retail space. Construction of the first phase is planned to begin in late 2026.

In addition to their re-launched skills centre, ECDC provide courses for local people in built environment, coding, film production, photography, and other forms of creative skill development.

Social value and economic impact
At its peak the Exhibition Centres contributed about £2bn a year to the national economy. Our plans will bring a diverse range of jobs for around 12,000 people to the site across a range of different roles and sectors. A further 2,000 will be employed in construction when the development is at its peak.

A social value report published in April 2023 revealed that the communities around Earl’s Court have benefited from a £7.8 million social value boost and £2.9m of economic investment through the activities of ECDC over the past year.

In the last year, activities associated with the project have led to £2.9 million additional spend locally and created 59 full time jobs. The report reveals that in particular ECDC’s activity has improved the health and wellbeing of local communities, with 44% (close to £3.3 million) of the total social value boost focusing on supporting people with disabilities, improving nutrition and physical activity as well as mental health. The Earls Court community fund of £180,000 is distributed amongst local charities annually since 2021.

Places for London
Places for London is Transport for London’s (TfL) wholly owned commercial property company, which is financed independently of the transport network. It is seeking to deliver homes and spaces where people feel proud to live, work and spend time in.

Places for London is helping to solve some of the capital’s biggest challenges and meeting its wider needs, including building new affordable housing, delivering new workspaces, and becoming more sustainable, with operating profits from recurring revenues being returned to TfL as a dividend to reinvest into the transport network. Places for London’s approach is focused on partnership and inclusion, taking the role of a long-term steward across its sites.

As part of its wider work to support both London and the wider industry, Places for London has established a construction skills programme, which is helping hundreds of people take their first steps in the construction industry or find new challenges to help move them into the next chapter of their career.  Places for London is also working with schools all over the capital to help hundreds of children understand the vast range of roles across the built environment sector and help the next generation understand how they could have a part in shaping London’s ever-changing skyline. 

Work has already started on sites across London for more than 3,350 homes, with more than 800 homes already completed.

Clean & Climate Tech
Climate Tech is focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions or addressing the impacts of global warming. This can be through direct mitigation or carbon removal, helping us to adapt to the impacts of climate change, or through enhancing our understanding of the climate.

Clean Tech is focused on reducing environmental damage from existing technologies or improving the quality of the natural environment. This can be through energy or resource efficiency, environmental protection or other resource management processes.

The European climate tech industry is currently worth €95bn and doubling in value every year since 2020. The UK government targets two million skilled green jobs by 2030.

We are delivering the largest mixed use low temp ambient loop energy in the UK which will deliver zero operational carbon from the outset. 

We will be fossil fuel free and largely car free in a central London location.

Our natural, biodiversity rich extent of usable open space will be unlike any other development. We will not be allowing any water runoff from the site. 

We will be delivering some of the lowest embodied carbon workspace and homes, with the aim of improving health and wellbeing and delivering a high quality of living and working space whilst reducing our impact upon the planet.