18/11/2018 • What we believe

Futures Foundry from Mount Anvil

We’ve opened a new skills hub in Whitechapel – Futures Foundry from Mount Anvil – and can’t wait to get more people through the door to construction. Here we’ll engage the next generation of talent for the construction industry, as well as create a centre for the local community.


Bow School sixth form pupils trying out Futures Foundry from Mount Anvil. Left to right: Bow School sixth form pupils with the Mount Anvil team (centre: Mari Chisholm, Bryn Parker, Killian Hurley CEO at Mount Anvil, Owen Lynam, Richard Rothwell, Thomas Lane); Councillor Rachel Blake Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets; Marcus Bate (Mount Anvil) and Fiona Fletcher-Smith (JV partner, L&Q).

Building on our success with the National Skills Academy for Construction at Keybridge and with the backing of local government, including John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, and Councillor Rachel Blake, Futures Foundry from Mount Anvil is set to tackle a whole bunch of challenges. With the UK gripped by a housing shortfall and a recent report by London First* indicating that 76% of London’s businesses are struggling to find candidates with the right skills, we’ll help grow the skillset needed to build the capital’s future homes.

Futures Foundry from Mount Anvil is based at The Silk District, our Joint Venture with L&Q and will offer 1,000 young Londoners a variety of activities, from site visits to health and safety days. Engaging students from primary school age will help tackle negatives assumptions around the industry and give them knowledge that will later help them during important education decision-making. 

The programme will also help those keen to explore a career in construction. By working with Tower Hamlets’ employability partner, two Introduction to Construction programmes have already run, in which local residents are provided with the skills, CSCS accreditation cards and PASMA tickets required to enter the industry. Meanwhile, Women into Construction has used the space for CV workshops and our people have also been available to share insights on working in the industry.

Looking ahead, there’ll also be up to 40 training opportunities in the first year, including ‘try it out’ (introduction to trades) days, work experience and employability skills workshops, as well as 28 apprenticeships in bricklaying, roofing and carpentry, 20% of which will be fulfilled by local Tower Hamlets residents.

Killian Hurley, CEO of Mount Anvil, comments: “Young people are the future of our industry. Despite this, approaches to tackling the skills shortage have been much like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. By the time a young person reaches apprenticeship age, they’re likely to have formed a negative opinion of what life in the construction industry is like – a misconception that we’re keen to overhaul.

“Active, innovative and early engagement should help us to reach the talent of tomorrow. We firmly believe in showing the next generation of talent firsthand via our Futures Foundry from Mount Anvil initiative just what kind of career options are available to them. By forming a dialogue with young people early on, we’ll help them to discover all that the industry has to offer and encourage them to consider a career in construction.

“In our opinion, good growth demands that we do more than just build new homes, we need to cast the net wider, integrating with the community and giving the step up people need to build skills for their future, that ultimately cements London’s future.”

Benefitting the wider community, Futures Foundry from Mount Anvil provides a space for local people, creating a platform for sharing skills and integration. Mount Anvil invites its neighbours to shape how the space will be used, whether it’s for English language lessons, a local gardening club or a Monday coffee morning, which have already taken up residence in the hub.

Want to get involved? Get in touch with our Head of Skills and Employment Framework Bryn Parker.

Interested in stepping into a role with Mount Anvil? Have a peek at our job vacancies here.


*London First, ‘An Employment and Skills Action Plan for London’ (Open Consultation) March 2018)