Crossrail, in partnership with its principal contractors, delivered the most significant injection of new skills into UK tunnelling and underground construction in a generation.
More than 1,000 apprenticeships have been created by the Crossrail programme. This would not have been possible without the support and commitment from our apprentices and contractors and their hard work and success is recognised across the industry.
710 apprenticeships were created by Crossrail Limited and its contractors during the construction and fit-out of the new stations and tunnels under London, far surpassing the original target of 400 apprenticeships. Apprentices were trained in a range of professions from civil engineering and business administration to railway systems and mechanical and electrical engineering.
Network Rail, Bombardier Transportation and MTR Crossrail also created 297 apprenticeships as part of the upgrade of the existing rail network for the Elizabeth line, and the manufacture and operation of the new Class 345 trains.
Since construction of the new railway began in 2009, Crossrail Limited has sought to attract new talent and open up opportunities to a broader pool of workers, not only to complete this project but to support the pipeline of future infrastructure projects. This has included:
- 20,000 people received training at the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy in Ilford, which has now been taken on by Transport for London
- More than 5,000 unemployed and local people employed thanks to a partnership between Crossrail contractors and Jobcentre Plus
- Partnering with Women in Construction to recruit more women into the industry
- Over 40,000 students taught about the project and engineering through the Young Crossrail programme that partnered with local schools along the route.
Apprenticeships are at the heart of the Crossrail project and our commitment to creating quality learning and career opportunities for young people has made a huge contribution towards revitalising our infrastructure skills base. Investment in skills and training is essential, not just to the delivery of the Elizabeth line, but also the next generation of projects.
Since the start of the project, Crossrail’s Tier 1 contractors have been required to deliver at least one skills or employment-based outcome for every three million pounds of tendered contract value as part of individual contractual agreements. These include job starts by previously unemployed people, apprenticeships, graduate traineeships and work placements.
Transport Infrastructure Skills Strategy
The use of procurement as a means to increase the number of apprenticeships right through the supply chains was one of the principal recommendations in the ‘Transport infrastructure skills strategy’ drawn up by Crossrail Chairman, Sir Terry Morgan.
The Transport infrastructure skills strategy builds upon the work of major projects like Crossrail, which has used responsible contract arrangements to create hundreds of apprenticeships since construction began in 2009.
Apprenticeship opportunities in rail
Both Network Rail and TfL offer apprenticeship schemes, with a wide range of roles and locations available.