Delays in building the HS2 high-speed rail link into Euston has not stopped a new skills centre for the construction industry opening.

The community-based Euston skills centre was opened by Transport Minister Huw Merriman after Camden Council leader Cllr Georgia Gould got government assurances to protect the livelihoods and businesses of people in the borough from the impact of HS2 construction.

The centre was secured with a £4.1 million from the Government to support the construction industry, with more cash from the GLA to fit it out and install the equipment needed.

The new skills centre is ideally positioned to benefit from the reconstruction of Euston station in the long-term,” Cllr Gould explained.

“We are determined that all those who live near the construction site will get direct benefits from the development with support for the community to get into good work.

“Our new skills centre is offering training, qualifications and experience for the community.”

The local authority has been creating apprenticeships, with the Euston skills centre making “a significant contribution” for 150 construction training vacancies planned every year.

The new centre has classrooms, a test centre, workshops with specialist machinery rooms and an outside training area where apprentices learn practical skills for their qualification.

The council is also working with the GLA to develop a “green skills” hub to tackle climate change by building more energy-efficient homes and running courses and training at the centre to meet these plans. It has created 900 apprenticeship vacancies since 2010, helping employers to open opportunities for school-leavers and youngsters living in Camden or leaving council care.

Courses from age 16, with no upper age limit, include electrical, plumbing, carpentry and joinery and multi skills for 16 to 18-year-olds. The centre is also running health and safety and employability courses. 

Funding for the Euston skills centre was secured by the United Colleges Group through the GLA. It will pay for a curriculum of accredited and non-accredited training in installing air-source heat pumps, solar thermal and electric vehicle charging for students, apprentices and for retraining low-skilled workers.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last year confirmed the decision to cancel the northern leg of HS2 between Birmingham and Manchester, but he also pledged to “create a new Euston development zone, building thousands of new homes for the next generation of homeowners, new business opportunities and a station that delivers the capacity we need” funded by the private sector.